This world is full of companies and people who will chameleonize themselves for the sake of fitting in, making a sale, or political correctness. The goal is to stand out just enough be noticed but not enough to take a stand.
In the face of conflict or confrontation the most important thing we can know is who we are. Without knowledge of ourselves, we have nowhere to stand! All ground becomes sinking sand and we will begin to compromise our beliefs just for the sake of getting by.
The more we compromise, the more susceptible we are to the dangers of the world around us. People and circumstances will push in and often hurt us because we don’t the basis to stand firm. It’s a dangerous and frustrating place to be and many of us live in that place. We just don’t know where to draw our line in the sand.
By the grace of God I have been able to grow deeper and deeper in the knowledge of who I am and been fortunate to lead others to their own knowledge. In expressing who I am, there are frequently times that I cause strong reactions from others. I’d like to share (with permission) one such interaction that plays out both sides of “who I am” equation.
[Message received from my Facebook Page]
“Is there a way I can just get the good business portion of your FB page/e-mails…and leave out the Jesus loves you bull crap? While I believe in God, I don’t believe He loves me…otherwise I would have had a job by now (it’s been 32 months despite constant prayer). I have subsequently thrown in the towel on my belief. God isn’t paying my bills….my family is gracious enough to help me out, and they are not Christians.
I really do not want to have to unlike this page since I am getting a decent amount of information from “Flip the Switch”…but I have had enough spiritual abuse in my life and at the hands of churches who tell you God does not want you rich so you will continue to look to Him for all your needs.
Is there any way I can continue to get the good business information without hearing the religious stuff?”
First, let me say how sorry I am that you’ve been hurt by people who profess to be Christians and bad theology. Those are the people who love religion but don’t really have a relationship with God as He’s asked for it.
Hopefully you haven’t felt abused by anything I’ve said or written.
As for the “Jesus loves you bull crap,” it’s not. He really does and the people you’ve encountered certainly don’t represent Him well. And, there really isn’t a way for me to section it off because it isn’t a section or part of my life, it’s simply who I am. I don’t have a Jesus ON/ Jesus OFF button.
If there is anything of a business nature that is worth reading from me, it is because of the relationship I have with Jesus. Not because of a need to push religion. I’m not a big fan of religion myself. My decision is to live without a filter so that what I believe is fully represented and that I never put up a front and try to fool anyone. That comes with consequences and I’m okay with that.
I don’t know why you don’t have a job and I don’t know if God wants you to be rich. What I do know that He loves you and is painting on a canvas much bigger than we can comprehend and it will often not make sense from our perspective. That part is where faith and trust kick in. Take that for what it’s worth… maybe not much right now.
If you decide to unlike, I totally understand and wish you the best. However, if you decide to stay, you will see just as much Jesus loves you crap J, maybe more, and you can take or leave whatever you feel like.
Thank you. PJ”
[About 2 hours later]
“Thanks PJ…I do appreciate that….I actually tried to delete the message and just figured I could be a grown up and ignore the stuff I don’t like.
As far as why God hasn’t shown me a job…I figure that may be His way of telling me to pursue my love of writing…a gift He gave me…instead of Accounting, which I have done for 20 years but hate.
It’s taken me awhile to figure out my anger is not with God, but with the guy who was spiritually abusive to me, though he thought he was just offering encouragement.
I know God DOES love me….I just need to re-learn what it is to have a REAL relationship with him.
Thanks again for your compassion.
[End of message string]
I know there are millions of people that can relate to some part of this message string so I’m compelled to bring it forward. Here are the questions to answer from this example:
What caused the angst to start with?
What caused the apparent turnaround in attitude?
The angst began when someone on the outside pushed to the point of abuse. It happens to us especially as kids. We have a hard time standing our ground, even when we are very sure of what we believe, in the face of a forceful adult. (Adults, remember that.) In order to reduce the pain and difficulty, we give up our position and stop being who we are.
After a period of compromising our stance, it becomes habit and we soon lose track of who we are. The knowledge fades and we become a reaction to the world around us, striking out at anything that might cause us to take a position again.
The apparent turnaround is a little different. I don’t believe it is a turnaround at all, but instead it is a revealing of the person longing to stand up! Why would that happen all of the sudden? Because when someone who is unsure comes up against someone who IS sure, a new level of permission is born.
In our example above I got to play the role of the good guy (it’s my story after all) and stood firm for who I am. In response, this person felt permission to drop the protective façade and identify with who they know themselves to be. There is an air of safety to be myself when I’m around others who are willing to be themselves.
Do everyone, including you, a favor. Get to know yourself well enough that you will stand up for who you are. Not only will your life grow, but you will give others permission to do the same.
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PJ McClure helps aspiring entrepreneurs to multi-million dollar business owners destroy roadblocks and seize opportunities to achieve their ideal vision of success. He is an award-winning speaker and the best-selling author of Flip the SWITCH: How to Turn On and Turn Up Your Mindset and Unlock Your Life: How to go beyond Time-Management to the Life of Your Dreams. You can download a copy of Flip the SWITCH for Free by clicking here.