Getting other people to do what you want … is that ever your dilemma?
Sometimes people don’t get in tune with what we think is right – because we are wrong. And we have to approach this subject with a lot of humility.
Am I sure that the course I’ve laid out for my teenage kid is really a Godly thing? Or am I just leaning on my children to be like me? I personally struggle with this a lot. While I would like my kids to imitate the better features of my life – for instance – to love the ministry as I do and at least consider it as a career, or at least to love it and respect it – I have to be really careful that I don’t push too hard, forcing them or trying to make them somebody they’re not.
I would like my kids to be musicians like me, but if I am always yelling at them to practice, and criticizing them because they’re not trying hard enough, or whatever – trying to make them clones of me – wouldn’t that be horrible? So I have to approach that with a lot of humility.
Another thing, too, is that even if we want the right thing for other people – well – everybody’s got so much sales resistance. I’ve never yet met anybody who loves being told what to do. There may be people like that in the world somewhere but I have not met a one of ‘em! Everybody’s got resistance. Nobody who I know, not a single person I know, likes simply being told what to do, and then they cheerfully say, “Yep. Happy to do it.”
The only way you can survive, and have a bit of independence – and have your own life – is that you make sure you don’t just get pushed around every step of the day, every step of the way.
And so, for me to want to draw someone else into a change of behavior, someway, I have to earn it first. I have to earn the right to be listened to. And that usually involves the hard work of me becoming a servant first, before I dare to pretend to be somebody’s boss, to redirect their behavior. And if I earn it, whether that’s with my wife, before I straighten her out, I have to let her straighten me out first.
Jesus talked about “log picking,” didn’t he? Nit picking and log picking! Before we’re going to de-nit something out of someone else’s eye, we need to let them de-log our own eyes, first. Before you criticize someone else, you have to be willing to let yourself be straightened out. That usually doesn’t appeal to people. And if you’re not willing to do that, then people are not going to be real willing to let you redirect or change their lives.