What happens to your relationships when you act like a BABY? Well, that is what we call the PROBLEM in every relationship. In fact, the PROBLEM creates unnecessary but inevitable suffering in relationships. Why? Because the biggest, most common relationship problem is - "you make everything about ME!"
Some people don't believe that they do that. But they discover the truth when going through the "2 Circles" exercise. For most people, self-discovery is much more difficult to deny.
The PROBLEM in every relationship tends to drive you into the "left circle." If you want to see which circle you are in, watch "The Two Circles of Life" or listen to the Radio Show "Which Circle Are You Living In?".
While babies are beautiful gifts from God, they can be very demanding, right? While they do not know enough to manipulate you, they focus on their appetites, impulses, and pleasures. Then, if they get what they want, they tend to be happy; if not, prepare yourself for some crying!
Unfortunately, there are too many grown-ups that are "babies." And, too often, you are one of them, just like I am. You become a BABY when you believe or act like it is everyone else's JOB to make you happy (Left Circle). That creates a problem in every relationship you have.
Babies flash their ME, just like putting a ME on the forehead of the baby in the picture. What's really bad, it is difficult for you to see your flashing ME. On the other hand, it is effortless for others to see it.
There are so many ways that you flash your ME - defensiveness, self-indulgence, self-esteem, impatience, rudeness, seeking revenge, and many more.
It is so easy because you have built-in "wants." You want to be accepted, included, significant, valuable, secure, safe, and satisfied. And when you fear those wants will not be satisfied, your ME starts flashing. You become just like a baby. You give everyone around you a job to do - "make me happy" or "do not make me unhappy."
It is crucial to remember that your built-in wants can only be fulfilled with an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. No one can fulfill those wants except temporarily, but Jesus can satisfy them completely.
Don't Want To Be A Baby?
Since having your ME flash is common, acting differently will take a deliberate choice. That choice can be made and maintained only by the Holy Spirit energizing your life. The sin nature won't choose against itself.
Anytime you are irritable, discontent, discouraged, depressed, or angry, ask yourself, “Am I making this about me right now?” Or ask yourself, “Is my ME flashing?” If you use the second question, think about going to a mirror to see your ME flashing on your forehead! Keep that picture as an example of becoming objective about your behavior.
That’s no longer an experiment for me. Using the first question and now the second one, I have documented how self-absorbed I am. In fact, since 2001, I have been asking that question, and I have not yet found a time to answer honestly, “No.” I may have more selfishness in me than you, but everyone has too much. More than likely, your experiment will reveal similar results.
A Better Question
Based on my experience and because of our tendency not to be objective, here’s a better question to ask when you have elevated negative emotions (ENEs) –
“How am I making this about ME right now?”
…or “How bright is my ME flashing right now?”
That makes a valid assumption that you are most likely making everything about yourself right now. So, start looking for “how” you are doing it this time!
Some other questions you could use:
- Am I defensive, taking things personally?
- Is my ME flashing right now?
When I notice my HNEs, that has been my best reliable, all-purpose tool. Without exception, whenever I have been disappointed, discouraged, anxious, irritable, or angry – those are the times that are most likely to be or become a “Flashing ME” episode. Those HNEs will likely also be an excellent signal for your “ME” times.
Being a “Baby” is THE PROBLEM for all relationships. And, based on God’s Word, it is a severe problem, as you can see in God's Word. In fact, please memorize the following verse because it is essential to remind yourself about how damaging the problem is for you and others.
For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. – James 3:16
Another excellent verse is…
So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. – Ezekiel 33:31
You have a choice - trust God and pursue the best for others or be a BABY! Unfortunately, your sin nature is never interested in choosing God's way or to pursue the best for others - unless there is something in it for ME!
Why not experiment and notice the difference? Try being kind to others and see how that works for you. Or, be thankful to everyone who does something for you, no matter how small.
You will be pleasantly surprised, not necessarily about others' response to you, but how it makes you feel. Could you try it and see what happens?
GR8 Relationships—Pursuing the BEST in work, in life, in love.
Right Thinking—Right Relationships—Right NOW!!