Tit-for-tat is a bad strategy

Welcome to your safe space. My friends, I’m not sure what the weather is like for you today, but where I am it has been raining all day.  Spring showers are here! My pastor calls it liquid sunshine.

In last week’s blog, we explored the struggle of broken people.  Today, let us examine broken relationships.  Now ladies, I am sure you will be familiar with this next analogy.

Do you remember the time when your favorite necklace broke? I was thinking about how to illustrate broken relationships and as I stepped off the elevator, my necklace broke. All the beads went flying in different directions. I wasn’t very happy about it but very quickly I recognized that God had given me the imagery that I needed.

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A broken relationship looks like my necklace. The beads that once made the necklace a beautiful accessory, are no longer together but scattered.  Feelings associated with suffering in a broken relationship, is a whole other matter. It becomes awkward and uncomfortable. In fact, the tension from the conflict sucks the air out of the room and the people involved erect invisible walls. This creates an overall caustic environment.

Have you been there friends? Maybe your relationship with your boss and co-workers is strenuous. Maybe you secretly hate going to work because things are so tense. Or maybe you are noticing a change in your personality–once you were an extrovert but of late you’d rather stay behind closed doors to avoid everyone.

Or maybe you face an uphill battle in a relationship with a lover, your child’s father/mother, a family member or friend. Things are simply difficult. Let’s look at some examples. Let’s say you share your opinion with the person that you are in conflict with and suddenly bullets of negativity come flying out of their mouth. Pow! Straight to your heart! Or your child’s dad breaks another promise he makes to you and your baby. Pow! Another blow to your self-esteem, your trust. Pow! Excuses, excuses, everything is oh so wrong, nothing is going right! Usually what follows is the mother of all blows, machine gun blazing bullets– deadly awkward silence…

In an article from Harvard Business Review, it states that a prolonged stressful environment has the same effect as constantly inhaling second-hand smoke. It kills slowly.

You can leave the space, right? Leave that job. Leave that lover. Ignore that family member, drop that friend. But there is also an alternate stance for those longstanding relationships. Let God show you how to fix it!

How can I? You ask when it seems irreparably broken?  Well, this is where knowing what to do and deciding to the right thing collides. Especially, when you know you’ve been treated unfairly, had your reputation trashed or simply misunderstood.

I’d like to share this thought from the NapoleonHillFoundation. I think it sums up what to do to shift those caustic exchanges. “The safest and best way to punish one who has done you an injustice is to do him or her a kind deed in return. People will always respond in kind, even in greater measure than that which is delivered to them. This commonplace need for retaliation can be replaced with a response designed to convert an enemy into a friend. If you get rid of the millstone of pride, you can respond to an injustice with a kind deed. It may take time to make this work, but if you treat those who dislike you with unfailing kindness, they will eventually succumb to your influence and “retaliate” in kind. As Napoleon Hill said, “The hottest coals of fire ever heaped upon the head of one who has wronged you are the coals of human kindness.”

By no means am I inferring that to show kindness to an unkind person is easy, but believe me kindness is contagious. Even more importantly, when you decide to shower kindness on a mean, angry person and instead give them the love in you, something supernatural happens. Walls fall down and once hard hearts begin to soften.

I promise, the next time you face unkindness, and your reflex says launch a tit-for-tat assassination, pump the breaks! Decide, “I refuse to roll around in the mud of unkindness. Instead, I chose to show them love & unlimited kindness.”

It is a theory I have tested and proven. Can you join me?


PRAYER: Lord, I commit this broken relationship to you. Please fix it. Protect my emotion and spirit. Let it repel all the negativity directed towards me. Tear down the invincible walls that I have erected to protect myself from pain. Heal me O Lord from brokenness, mend me with your love. I now ask for your help today to be a display of your love to those who show no love. I invite your presence to shift the atmosphere of my workplace/home/classroom(fill in the blanks here of the place you want to be changed). Jesus, fill this place and this relationship with your peace.
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Don’t forget to check out my Resource Page for inspirational material.

Remember, it’s not easy but you can forgive.  It’s not easy but you can #buildupthebroken.  It’s not easy but you can be kind to unkind people.  Let’s do it! Denzel Washington says it best.

 

Comment, share, subscribe and join the mission to #buildupthebroken.  I challenge you to pass the #NoMoreTitForTatTest.  Do it now!

 

 

Published by T. Marie

Protagonist. Diplomat. Conceptual. T. Marie at the core is a connector. She connects women to their purpose, so that they can influence the world. In this blog she writes to share her faith, and failures, hope and resilience, just simple inspiration to win in life.

11 thoughts on “Tit-for-tat is a bad strategy

  1. Wow wow wow!!! I love it!! Indeed a very relevant topic for me even as of this moment….God bless you and thank you

  2. Very timely. With the Holy Sprit as our present helper we can overcome the brokenness with kindness.

  3. Thank you. Awesome article, one which we should practice in our brokenness. God bless you.

    1. The good thing about rebuilding our relationships is that we have many opportunities like you pointed out to practice kindness over & over again. If we mess up, we can try again.

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