Meditation for Perfectionists – Sunday September 20, 2020
A Liberating Truth
Matthew 19:16-22: “But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved…” (v.22).
As I concluded my presentation and dismissed the audience, a determined young woman approached me. “You’re not going to like this, but…” Then she detailed the reasons she did not like my talk.
My immediate response was, “Yes, but didn’t you hear me mention…?” And I began to recount the points of my speech. Then I noticed that instead of helping her understand, I was compounding her agitation. Stopping mid-sentence I said, “Basically you didn’t agree with anything I said, did you?”
Her face relaxed as she broke into a large smile. “No, sorry. I didn’t,” she admitted and walked on.
One of the freedom-producing truths I am learning is that I am not responsible for another person’s reactions. I can express my opinions and beliefs, but if someone else does not agree, I need not try to change his mind or manipulate him to agree.
The young man disagreed with Jesus, yet Jesus did not try to force him to change his mind. He honored the man’s decision and allowed him to walk away. We do not need to control everyone else’s reactions. This liberating truth allows us to pursue our own life responses with joy and freedom.
Lord, I release my need
to make people comply with me.
How relieved I am that I do not have to influence everyone.
Copyright Joan C. Webb
For more from Joan Webb visit www.joancwebb.com