I Don't Care
I've been thinking a lot lately on my philosophies in life and in particular when I think about communication. I wanted to write a few articles on communication to share some of the things I've come up with.
I may get in trouble for saying this, but if that thing I just said to you or what I just did hurt you a little bit, I don't care. Now don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't care at all. That would be lie and untrue to how God made me and how I was raised. What I'm really saying is that I care more about how God feels about my heart and actions than how you feel about them.
Growing up, I saw my mom be nice to any and everyone. Even people who did her wrong in the worst ways. My family is from Uganda and somehow my parents were often the home where many other families would send their kids to transition into life in the US. And some of those kids didn't have any home training so they would eat up all the food, stay out partying, and sometimes speak disrespectfully to my folks, but my mom would continue to patiently love them.
What I learned watching that was to always be nice to people even when they mistreat you if you wanted to be a real friend. But love them enough to pray for them and lovingly let them know how they can grow.
My dad who set a strong tone would work more forcefully to help them learn how to act. His firm hand helped many set the boundaries that developed the maturity they needed.
Unfortunately, I took the worst of both of them. I would be too nice and let people use me like a doormat and when I got tired of that, I'd be too harsh and hurt people, often unnecessarily. But as I became more mature in Christ, the Holy Spirit and patient family and friends helped develop a balance in me.
Now I'm both willing to be honest with someone even when it hurts them (Prov 27:6) and lovingly walk with someone even when it hurts me (1 Cor 13). If you would have rather I lied to you or overlooked what you just did, I don't care. If you think I was too nice or was taken advantage of, I don't care.
Well, I actually may care and I'd love to talk about it to see if we can understand each other better, even if we disagree. But if you're not willing to listen or you're going to be mean, unfriendly or unfair, I don't care. I want to learn more and grow, but I ultimately care more about what God thinks than what man thinks (Prov 29:25).
Here are some key questions that keep my conscience clear and keep me open to growth.
- Have I behaved in a loving Spirit filled way, even if I have to be firm or assertive?
- Was I thoughtful in my words and approach?
- Was I sensitive to you or the situation, taking into consideration where you may be emotionally, personally, and spiritually as well as the timing and environment?
- Am I willing to humble myself, accept correction, apologize if warranted and change if needed, if I'm wrong in what I said or did or how I said or did it?
This is the foundation of what has resulted in excellent communication experiences. The ultimate trust in God has given me the confidence to make relationships better, friendships stronger, marriage more enjoyable, and it help me learn more than I ever have. Hope it helps you to not care.