Three Ways You Can Become Hardened
By Dan Langerock
We donít always plan to become hardened by our circumstances, but over time it can happen when we consider our own needs more important than others. Here are three ways this can happen to us for your consideration:
Taking Others For Granted
We figure the person will always be there for us and we tend to ignore them. They have needs just as we do, but selfishness sets in and blinds us to all needs but our own. This is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. You can see it in the way people talk to each other, treat others, and how they drive.
Another form of this one is when abuse is involved. We figure the person wonít do anything about the abuse, so we do whatever we want. This can take the form of emotional, physical, verbal, and others. The sad part of this one is that those who are released from this problem often return to the same type of relationship. They are so used to being abused that they seemingly cannot live without it. One solution for this is a special home for battered and abused women, of which there are several in our area.
We see this in many forms in our society. Teenagers exhibit this trait when they
are testing their limits. Crime is another form of rebellion, figuring that stealing or
whatever is better than having to work for income. Whenever you see the norms of
society and other institutions challenged, you see a form of rebellion.
I see this in the hospital a lot when people are fed up with religion and try to make their own. Many times this comes about because of a slight or insult earlier in life in that environment. This will have serious spiritual consequences if it is not corrected.
Recently, we have seen rebellion against the idea of the family and marriage.
These are all manifestations of unfulfilled needs in the people involved. They are
searching for meaning and not finding it, so they choose to rebel in whatever manner.
One thing we can do is to listen to those who are exhibiting rebellion. Although it is often hard, we must seek to come alongside these people and listen to them with the idea of helping meet their needs. Sometimes our prejudices get in the way of this effort, but we must keep trying. Seek Godís wisdom in this matter, it is free for the asking. We cannot fathom the immensity of human need without His help.
Do we care enough to help those who are hurting inside or are we just couch potatoes waiting for someone else to address these needs? Just as diseases have symptoms, so does rebellion. We must learn to look beyond the actions and words that are apparent to the real needs behind them. Otherwise, we are just wasting our resources personally as well as a nation. Money is often thrown at a problem without considering what need is behind it.
If each person reached out to the needs in their sphere of influence, think what changes would occur. But selfishness keeps us from doing this as well as schedules that are filled to the maximum. We become so busy, we donít have time to reach out and help when it is needed. Roughly a third of the population of the United States volunteers in some capacity. There are many opportunities around you but we must care enough to set aside time to do them.
This is true on the personal level as well. What needs are in your own family and neighborhood? Do you know? Do you care? Is someone hurting that you could help? Are you just complaining about what is happening in our world or are you part of the solution? Anyone can complain, but it takes a caring person to get out there and do something about what is happening in a helping way.