Good Morning friends, before we jump into today’s post I wanted to remind you that I’ll be joining my friend Leslie Vernick this evening to discuss the topic of whether destructive people can change. Here is the link.
I hope you can join us. Now to today’s post.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8
Among the most common responses I hear when confronting a man about his abusive behavior is that of minimization. The goal is to soften the impact or severity of his behavior with excuses, rationale, or a dismissive attitude. The sentiment is that the events we are discussing are not as serious as they seem or that there is some kind of misunderstanding. In essence a reasonable person will see that what he has done is not that big of a deal. The result however of one’s consistent minimization is not that of removing attention but will in fact reveal your heart over time. You see with each attempt to reduce your responsibility, diminish the credibility of your partner’s concerns, and dismiss or deny the necessity of consequences you maximize your own self-importance. With each seed of minimization you sow the crop of pride continues to expand and a harvest of destruction is looming. I know you’re frustrated that others doubt you and that some even refer to you as smug or arrogant, but they do so because you are probably smug and arrogant. Your attempts to minimize your behaviors only draw our attention to the severity of those actions. The fact that you’ve hurt others is a real problem. It should not be easily swept away by minimizing the harm or ignoring the impact or potential damage you’ve caused. A major mistake that I have witnessed men make is diminishing the results of their abuse. Statements such as, “it’s not a big deal” or “this has been blown out of proportion” should be removed from your vocabulary in this instance. While guilt and the subsequent consequences of your sin are uncomfortable they are beneficial. It’s time you acknowledge the impact of your behavior. Is your spouse afraid of you? Are they always walking on eggshells? Are you reaping a harvest of destruction? Are you willing to take responsibility for these results?
There is always hope. Change is possible but you must acknowledge the severity of your problem. Charles Spurgeon once said, “If your sin is small then your Savior will be small also. But if your sin is great, then your Savior must be great.” Let me encourage you to acknowledge and confess the severity or your sin.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” 1John 1:8-10
What do you think?
Have you been guilty of minimization? Have you been hurt by a minimizer?