Grow Up! {the what, why, and how behind it.}

When people see the title of this blog, they automatically assume that it’s written by someone who’s older, mature in their faith, and got it all together. Well, you know what “assuming” does, right…?  ;]

If the truth be told, I still have very immature moments. I still fight with my brother at times. I still get an attitude every now and again. I still think it’s “my way or the highway” when it comes to an opinionated verbal showdown. I even still have a hard time saying “I’m sorry” when I wrong someone; I don’t always say “Thank you” when someone does something for me because I think somehow I deserved it; or “I love you” to someone I have a disagreement with even though they mean the world to me.

So, lest you fall under the false assumption that I have “arrived,” I feel a need to clarify what the title of this blog really means. I’ve touched on it a tad bit in this post, but I think it deserves a little more clarification. Did you know this blog has a theme verse? No? Well, it does…

“Grow Up!” – this is going to be part educational, part rant. *and the crowd cheers*

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say, “Perhaps you should take the advice of your own blog and ‘grow up’…”  I’d be a very, very rich woman.

But you know when I hear that the most? When someone disagrees with me. It’s not when I’m doing the funky chicken in my kitchen, it’s not when I honk at a slow driver, it’s not when I poke my brother in the face, and it’s not when fake ADD in a restaurant. It’s when someone disagrees with me. I don’t get it.

Is that supposed to be like an insult or something? “I don’t agree with you… blah, blah, blah… you need to grow up!”  oh, wow… ouch.

Maybe you just need a sense of humor… no?

Okay, so you don’t agree with me. You don’t like the statuses or the links I post on {my} Facebook… and because you don’t like them, I  need to grow up? Does this sound off kilter or even a teensy bit backwards to anyone else?

It’s at that point that I want to encourage said person to take a long walk off a short pier… but I don’t. You want to know why? It’s simple – II Peter 3:18 ~

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

Grow in grace. Grow in the knowledge of the Lord. Because it’s not about us – it’s not about you, and it’s not about me. To HIM be glory. I really couldn’t care less what you think, what your opinions are, what you believe. Because I’m not the one who has to answer for you. You have to stand before the Lord and give an account of yourself, and I’ll have to do the same thing for myself.

Do you believe you are on the right road? Is your heart right with the Lord? Does your life line up with what God’s Word says and teaches? If you could answer yes, then you have nothing to worry about.

Don’t come over into my bubble and tell me that I’m grieving the Spirit and causing division among the brethren while you continue forward in a 50+ comment debate dripping with judgment, graceLESSness, and name-calling with people you don’t know from Adam. Somewhere along the way, the pot will be called out for calling the kettle black – which is just a fancy way for calling you a hypocrite.

The title of this blog is not referring to growing up in the physical or emotional sense. It’s all about II Peter 3:18 – “grow in grace.”

So when you point your knobby cyber finger at me and tell me to “grow up” because you don’t like what I post, consider me ignoring your comment my way of taking your advice. Because if I did respond, I’d probably verbally rip your face in two… and that’s definitely not gracious of me.

If you don’t have the same standards as I do, fine. If you don’t believe all the things that I do, fine. If you don’t like me anymore, fine. You can tell me where you think I’m wrong… but when you start calling names, insulting others, or freaking out in all caps – that’s when I’m gonna have a problem with you. Yes, let’s discuss our differing opinions and beliefs — I want to understand and be understood. Discussion, not spiteful arguments.

I appreciate your friendship, but I’m not twisting your arm or begging you to stay against your will. You enjoy the same freedoms I do – so take advantage of them while you still can. But above all, grow in grace and be gracious in your correspondence with others.

Ciao, Gracie.

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Posted on June 15, 2011, in Blogs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Ooooo! I like you! (in a plutonic sense)

    I could almost envision your head staying level as it swayed side-to-side in a “oh no you di-unt” kind of way.

    I have never done the funky chicken, but I’ve eaten some. That made it easier to keep people out of my bubble, for sure.

  2. Oh Heather, grow up! LOL, JK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Great post! I like that you never sugar coat things but are always very gracious in how you tell things. We get what we see and that is a wonderful quality. No hiding or misleading us.

    I know I like keeping my bubble free of negative vibes too. It’s okay to discuss things and disagree. God did not make us cookie cutters (man would that be boring!). Some people can’t handle others disagreeing though. That does create an issue.

  3. True, you never learn anything if you don’t discuss things, and you never learn anything if you fuss and fight about it either. . .or cyber-yell, or start “freaking out in all caps”

    While it’s easy to act that way being human, I guess we all really need to learn that we all need to “grow up” some more. Needed reminder. Thanks for posting.

  4. I swear, there is a theme in my life right now! The universe must revolve around me!

    Over at “The Church of No People,” Matt basically talked about this. We just discussed this in my class. I used this exact verse to rebuke people who showed no love or grace in public settings and sometimes between other Christians, and it helped me realize the need to grow myself. How do I know I have been regenerated? I may get angry from time to time, but I find I do not lash out at people as I used to. I may be upset and say something – usually to myself or God – about how stupid the situation is, but I still want to love … most of the people who wrong me!

    It looks like I still have some growing up to do, as well. Huh.

    • I always find when the Lord is trying to teach me something, He “slams” me from all directions with the same lesson. To be honest, it can get really annoying… but it also drives His point home. :]

      Every Christian has a lot of growing up to do. Only when we reach Heaven will we truly “arrive” (no pun intended). :]

  5. Heather,

    An individual in whom I once placed unwavering trust betrayed me, and still does after 30+ years, with most every vice you mention in this post. Pride kills relationships; pride destroys the heart; and being stubborn shrinks the intellect. Pride is hate and is therefore murder, and stubbornness diminishes one’s capacity to effectively think, just as prolonged alcohol abuse physically shrinks the brain’s frontal lobes (the brain’s reasoning center).

    And yet every individual I know who engages in these vices, treats them as minor flaws. They see it as, “something I need to work on, but it isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. I’m only human. My family knows I love them.” Do you honestly think that? Do you honestly think their heart is open to you, despite the years of receiving your abusive comments and hateful attitudes? If you could feel their crushed spirit; if you could feel their lifeless love toward you; if you could truly feel their angst and resentment, you would probably blame them, as if they are attacking you. “How dare they say I am the cause? Why are they hurting me? If they wouldn’t provoke me I wouldn’t act this way.” That’s what abusers always say, and they never grow up!

    • I’m sorry you were hurt like that (and are still being hurt) after all these years. I can’t imagine the heartache that has caused.

      However, I’m just curious… are you implying that I’m the “abuser” in this case?

      Thanks for the comment, Todd.

      • Heather,

        I use “he” as gender neutral for the sake of readability.

        My point is that whoever routinely engages in these vices abuses others. If this is how you engage others on a regular basis, then yes, I am saying you are an abuser, otherwise no.

        Each one of us goes through moments or even periods of time where we treat others badly, but if our heart is open and sensitive, it compels us to later apologize for mistreating those individuals, sincerely asking for their forgiveness. On the other hand, an abuser does not apologize other than superficially. He just expects others to get over it and never asks forgiveness, staying just as proud and stubborn as always. This type of person is never satisfied. He expects others to always agree with him because he insists on being right, even when he knows he is wrong. When they do agree with him he doesn’t respect them, knowing they’re doing so for the sake of agreeability and thinks them weak, but then attacks them when they don’t. He wants others to authentically agree with him, not superficially for the sake of peace. Wanting to be right is very different from being right, and being in the right. Would that he realize, his self-centered approach to life is more disagreeable than agreeable.

        He seeks control by telling others what to do and what to think, and feels out of control when others call him out, refusing to do his bidding. Truly cooperating with others on a level playing field is a foreign concept to this person. He doesn’t understand that he is as much subject to others as what he believes others are to him. He feels a certain sense of entitlement, a sense that “I am in charge of everyone within my local sphere.” He feels alienated and rejected when those “under his command” balk at his domineering attitudes and expectations. And in those rare moments when he does act humble, and ingratiating, it is just an act to shore up his kingdom.

        This abusive treatment of others is not a moment of weakness, not even a period of weakness; it’s a way of life. This type of person shoves from behind instead of leading from out front. He doesn’t want the burden of true leadership, despite his convincing facade; he doesn’t want to accept that responsibility, so he tries at all cost to make others do it for him.

        This is the heart of an abuser, and if that is your orientation toward others you are an abuser. Otherwise, if this is not your approach to life, you simply have moments and periods of weakness just like everyone else, and apologize when your conscience checks your motives and behavior.

        Beginning several years ago, I periodically open the floor for my friends and family to give me an honest critique. I ask them to tell me what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong. I also ask for their suggested fix in those areas where I fall short. I don’t argue; I don’t debate; I don’t go into defense mode. I simply ask for their honest assessment, even if that means them doing so with anger. This is very humbling and oftentimes hurts quite deeply but it keeps me honest, allowing me to grow as a person. Whether you are an abuser or not, if you allow others this type of open-ended freedom, not only will you grow as a person but so too will your personal relationships.

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