Saturday, June 23, 2012

When are you going to learn to keep your mouth shut?!

When are you going to learn to keep your mouth shut?
It is not necessary to say everything that you are thinking and labeling is against the rules. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. The word, perfectionist, should not bring on such negativity, aggression and a downright offense….I wouldn’t think. But my sister has a sign in her home that calls perfectionist, sick, but instead we strive for excellence….same thing in my book. But she didn’t ask me. And I think that being a perfectionist would be a compliment…. I want a perfectionist to work on my teeth, I want a perfectionist doctor, I want a perfectionist to paint my house, work on my car….etc. Don’t you? But apparently my sister considered it a major insult.
The name of the personality book is “Who do you think you are, anyway?” It is an eye opening experience to read it and find out about yourself, and how you can improve, and how you can adjust your personality when you understand other people’s reactions and why they react that way. It is an amazing tool and has been used for years in the work place as well as with personal relationships.
After I first read it I was amazed at how much my son and I were alike. It is no wonder we clash so many times, whereas my other son, with a different personality, not so much.   
Another book called, “Help Meet” by Debbie Pearl, is where I got a taste of differences in personality, ways that these people can be touched to their very souls. A third resource, “The Five Love Languages”,  was helpful and a children’s book called “The Treasure Tree” also helped. But none of these so specifically provided ways to get these people to understand me as I communicated with them in their own language. It gives you tools in different situations, or weapons if you misuse them. 

I misused them. I labeled and pretended I knew all about a person, what’s important to them and what’s not, putting them in a box, but not really listening. I just believed I had it down to a science. So, like my own personality says, I cut to the chase and just wanted to know what I needed to know to get the job done. 
This of course is not God’s way. Putting your agenda before a person is not right. Love is right, caring, listening, believing, and investing time, that’s what’s important. I wish I had known all this before I simple blurted out, “Your personality is that of a perfectionist.”
“I’m not a perfectionist.”
“But everything you do is perfect.”
“Perfect in your eyes, maybe but it’s not perfect.”
(That statement sort of proved my statement was true because with perfectionist, it’s never good enough.)  
The point being, that being right, that she is a perfectionist was not worth the pothole it put into our relationship….and it has taken a long time to build that relationship up to where it is already. But I cannot take back what I said, only try to mend it. I tried, the next morning; I said, “I had no idea how offended you would be over that word….” Before I could get out the words, “I’m sorry” she barked out, “I wasn’t offended”, A sure sign that she definitely was offended.  
I saw a skit about labeling once. A mom had received a labeler for Christmas one year. It was a great gift until she started putting labels on people. I realize that I don’t want to be labeled because there is such a finality to it. It is impossible to get rid of once you are there. You are put in a box, categorized and given this permanent name. Some things that I have been labeled with that have been tough to get over or grow past; talk too much, bossy, baby sister, stupid (this word was actually a cuss word in my home and to this day I still cringe when I hear someone called by that name.) Awkward, clumsy, jolly green giant, ( I was tallest in my class for years). You would think with all this experience of being labeled myself, I would know better. I do now, but it’s too late. I’ve also been guilty labeling my kids, if they disobey once they are disobedient children, if they cheat on a test they are under suspicion for the next 3 or 4 years!  I am constantly thinking the worst scenario and drawing false conclusions because I don’t want to have a blind eye to the training of my kids but what if we tried some positive labels.  
They are, a child of God, loved by God, given wisdom by God, watched over by God and covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. These are not labels to put them on a pedestal, they are not labels to put pressure on them to be perfect, they are labels to remind them that they got someone who’s got their back. They've got grace. I wish I had shown a little more grace to my sister that day.  I do know that God will help me to clean up this mess because well He’s God, and I think that’s a label He can live with and He can accept that responsibility.  
James 1:19  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: