November 18, 2021

Avoid Passive-Aggressive Behavior

What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today I the vineyard.’ ‘I will not’, he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. ‘then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir’ but he did not go.’ (Matthew 21:28-32, NIV)  

If you are passive-aggressive it means you have a type of behavior or personality characterized by indirect resistance to the demands of others and an avoidance of direct confrontation, as in procrastinating, pouting, or misplacing important materials. In other words, you may not be in agreement with something that is being asked or demanded of you and instead of dealing with the situation or stating your feelings upfront, you find a way to either avoid the task or find ways to get back at that person. Living in a passive aggressive state can frustrate us,  bring on depression, even make us physically ill. Lots of times when we display passive aggressive behavior we either feel helpless, fearful of confrontation or put in a spot where we don’t have a lot of choice or say. Either way it’s not a good feeling, nor outcome.

The second young man in the parable Jesus presented may have had a passive aggressive behavior or character. Saying he would do something but not actually doing it. Maybe he didn’t want to confront his father or deal honestly with his feelings. In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul writes one way to avoid falling into the passive aggressive trap and cycle is to remember how we are created: in God’s image and in that case, we don’t possess a spirit or character of timidity, fear, or need for avoidance but we can possess and claim the spirit of power we have been given. It may take a lot, initially for us to learn to cultivate that spirit within us but once we have activated God’s power and strength in our lives we will no longer need to pretend to be in agreement, mislead others, or resort to passive aggressive behaviors or tendencies. Let’s Pray,

Honesty is always the best policy, Lord. When we are tempted to avoid something or resort to passive aggressive behaviors or tendencies grant us the strength and courage needed to be honest. Amen

Reflective Questions for Soul-Tending:

Do you have a habit of resorting to passive aggressive behaviors when you feel in a tight spot or to avoid doing something asked or demanded of you?

How will you incorporate today’s message into your plan of soul-care?

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