Sticking to My Guns is Often a New Thing

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I was facing a dilemma last night of which the details are unimportant and personal so I will keep them to myself. The gist of the problem was this; do I stick with a long agreed upon set of circumstances to which I have entirely lived up to, or do I, to my and my family’s’ detriment, succumb to the pleadings of another party and erase the long agreed upon way of doing things?
For far too long I have felt that the comfort of others was, at least partly, my responsibility. I chalked it up to “just being a nice guy”. I often cave at the slightest bit of argument. If I don’t do it immediately, I do it as soon as another party throws even a small amount of guilt my way. I try to be an honest guy and I really do want others to succeed and not have to struggle in the process.
“You owe me money? Don’t worry about it.”
“You said you were going to do something for me, or for yourself, and now you’re facing unwanted consequences because you didn’t even try? Here, let me fix it.”
“You didn’t plan accordingly to live out a certain agreement the way we discussed? I’ll cover it.”
It’s so hard. It hurts my heart. I don’t want to be the bad guy. If I can assist someone, why wouldn’t I? It’s all bad thinking.
Of course, there is context. There are appropriate times to be generous and flexible. There are times when it really is in my heart to change a loan into a gift or to amend an agreement for someone. I’m not a tyrant after all. I do try to love people. But there is also a time where it is appropriate to stand my ground and insist on sticking to the agreed upon terms.
My poor wife has had to deal with me giving all of our money away on more than one occasion. Someone is in need and I react foolishly and expect everyone else to become foolish with me, all in the name of being Christ-like and generous or kind. I strive to live that way, I really do, and so does my wife, but there also has to be wisdom. My kids still have to eat. My rent still has to be paid. The lights don’t just magically stay on.
Money doesn’t mean much to me. It is just a tool. As long as we are good right now, I could care less about what it costs. I drive a beater and I am happy about it. I live and work in the god-forsaken Midwest and I’m cool with it. We give away and sacrifice countless amounts of money, and I love it. Maybe I am irresponsible or maybe I am just blessed, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter either way. The important thing is that we help where we can and sometimes even where we can’t and I think God honors that. But there has to be wisdom!
I said no last night. I’ve said no a lot recently. The guilt trips are thrown and I still say no. Sometimes the guilt is thrown at me, by me, and I still am sticking to my guns, no. It’s hard, I don’t like it at all, but isn’t that what wisdom often is, difficult?
I want to be a good leader. I think that I do a decent job but there is always room for growth. I know that if I refuse to change or own up to my shortcomings that I am not growing. Not having a spine when one is needed is definitely a shortcoming, even when my intentions are supposedly good.
I love you, I really do, but sometimes love means doing the hard thing and expecting the same from you.

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One response to “Sticking to My Guns is Often a New Thing

  1. As someone is often on the opposite side of the pendulum, I can strangely relate. I enjoy the honor of being generous – and we try to be as often as we can – I put my people first. Sometimes I envy the heart of someone who blesses others first… and sometimes I’m too proud of my ability to take a hard stance. It’s a difficult balance to strike.

    I love your heart, Josh – and you bless many people selflessly. Thanks for your vulnerability.

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