I was in the thick of Chicago traffic. At one intersection, both an automobile and a bicycle attempted to sneak through a red light at the end of a yellow. The bike was going straight and the car was turning left, and they collided. The car was barely moving and fortunately, the woman on the bike was not hurt….but she was mad! She jumped up off the ground and picked her bike up, ripped her helmet off, and with bike in tow, ran after the car screaming at the driver. Junior was sitting beside me in the car and we both saw the whole thing. “What is she so mad about?” I asked, “She ran the red light, too! You’d think someone on a bike would know better then to ride out into oncoming traffic on a red light.”
Junior responded, “Ya, but that’s how people are; they are always sure they are in the right, even when they are obviously not.”
True. Studies show that when people are interviewed to share their observations of just about any event, they will always slant the story just a bit to put themselves in the best light. It’s human nature to want others to think better of us than what we know to be true. But that’s also a major barrier to our growth. You can’t defeat a problem you do not acknowledge.
Only when we are willing to open ourselves up to God, and a few other trusted people, revealing a genuine openness for truth with a mindset for change, are we able to act on the steps necessary for change. Without that desire for truth, or willingness to have our weaknesses exposed, no real or substantive change can ever take place.
Many years ago, a friend said to me, “Scott, you are so negative, You are rubbing off on me and I get critical when we’re together.”
Now, that made me mad! How dare he! Within the next few minutes, I had all the best responses in my mind for him, accusing him of being more negative than me and why I had been right in the critical things I had been saying about others. It wasn’t until later that evening when I got my Bible out to read that the truth of his stinging words struck home. Once I was willing to stop defending myself, I began to see my heart and my attitude the way God saw it. That led me on a journey to change my outlook and disposition….one that I am still on today.
Are you still in denial about your sinful anger, selfishness, immorality, resentment, addictions, worry or laziness? The first step to overcoming is by opening yourself up to God and what He wants to teach you, and to let Him use those closest to you to identify the areas that can be and should be changed.
It always starts with an openness to truth.