Madison Church

Humility, Admission, and Self-Awareness in Relationship Restoration | Do The Work (Part 2) | Stephen Feith

July 30, 2023 Stephen Feith
Madison Church
Humility, Admission, and Self-Awareness in Relationship Restoration | Do The Work (Part 2) | Stephen Feith
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What if the most difficult part of restoring a relationship wasn’t mending the broken bond, but rather admitting that you were wrong? This episode is a deep dive into the human psychology behind being wrong and how our denial can often lead to more heartache and destruction than the initial mistake. We examine the compelling story of a cult from the book "Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)," whose faith in their leader only strengthened after their doomsday predictions failed. Admitting our mistakes is a difficult yet necessary step in restoring our relationships and maintaining our sanity.

Relationships, like ships, require constant attention and direction. An unattended ship will inevitably head towards an iceberg, much like unprocessed emotions can bring about the downfall of a relationship. Despite the effort required, we argue that working to restore relationships is a worthwhile endeavor. But what happens when a relationship is damaged beyond repair? We've got you covered there too, offering insights on navigating these choppy waters.

As we wrap up, we look towards self-awareness as our guiding star. Drawing from the teachings of Jesus and interpretations of Dallas Willard, we provide a fresh perspective on mending relationships through self-awareness. Moreover, we discuss practical steps to help nurture this skill, emphasizing the importance of approaching this journey with humility and grace. We believe self-awareness, though often overlooked, is a key ingredient in fostering connection and restoration. So, join us as we uncover the power of admitting our wrongs, nurturing our relationships, and embracing self-awareness. No matter how broken our bonds may be, remember, it's never too late for restoration.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to our online audience. Welcome to Madison Church. I'm Stephen Feith. I'm the lead pastor at Madison Church. We're glad you're tuning in. I want to invite you to join us in person soon. Gonna start with a question today. I think I know the answer Extraverts. You yell it out. I'm just gonna be watching for eyes over here. Does anyone really really like being wrong? Okay, we're gonna talk about that later. I can't unpack that now. But okay, so I gotta change my next line, which is none of us, most of us we don't say I just really love it when I mess up. Some of you I know this to be true Some of you are married to someone you think absolutely loves being wrong. You're like my spouse could be paid for being wrong. That's how good they are at being wrong, but I bet they would probably disagree. Like I'm not doing it on purpose, it just happens so naturally, none of us most of us we don't like being wrong. There's this book called Mistakes Were Made but not by me, right that's? It could be like our autobiography for half of us in the room Mistakes were made but not by me, in which the authors explain our brains are physiologically working against us when it comes to being wrong, your brain wants you to be right. Your brain is chemically, like biologically, engineered to figure out why you're not wrong, to make you think you're right even in the face of overwhelming evidence that says you're wrong. Our brains are looking for roundabout ways to say no, no, no, not quite, and if I am wrong, it's only a little wrong, it's not like I'm completely wrong here. One example from the book recounts an event that took place over 50 years ago. A social psychologist named Leon Festinger infiltrated a group this is kind of like a Coltley type of group and they believe that the world was gonna end on December 21st. It was about 50 years ago. In December 21st the world was gonna end and the social psychologist wanted to know what would happen when, not if. He was very convinced the world was not gonna end, and so his study. He wanted to know what happened with all of these believers and followers. When it turned out, the world didn't end. This group's leader promised that they would be saved by a flying saucer from outer space at midnight on December 20th. So they're all gonna gather in a field on December 20th or 19th and then, when the clock turns, a UFO is gonna come take them and then the world is gonna end. Many of those followers actually quit their careers. They had good jobs. They quit their careers. They left their jobs. They gave away their possessions houses, cars. They sold completely out. They spent their savings all on this kind of this idea. With this leader Festinger, who, again, he knew that the world wasn't gonna end, right, he had a pretty good idea about that. He predicted that everyone who did that, everyone who sold out if you sold the house, you got rid of a car, you quit a career. What he predicted was that when the world didn't end, your faith or their faith and their belief in the leader would actually increase. This was a social experiment, though he couldn't say for sure. But his theory, his hypothesis, was when they're wrong, they're actually gonna increase their belief in their leader's ability. And the fateful night arrives there's no sign of a spaceship in the field that they gathered in. It's midnight, you know, maybe they're just running a little late. Galaxy's big, that sort of thing. 2 am comes around. You can imagine you've been there now two hours. You might be getting a little nervous Because timeliness is important. When the world is gonna end. You want your ride to be on time, right? So I mean you can imagine that at four o'clock comes around and they're really anxious at this point. And it's around this time that the leader has a new vision, almost five in the morning, five hours later, and the new vision is that the world had been spared because of her followers' impressive faith. Ufo's not coming, the world's not gonna end. We saved it. That's why it's not happening. Can you guess how her followers responded? Did they just? Were they mad? They go buy a new house, they go get their jobs back? They didn't do any of that. The groups mood shifted from despair to exhilaration that what they thought? They were so wrong and they were. No, wait a second, we did a good thing here. And they began calling the press and newspapers to tell them about this good news. The world was gonna end. None of y'all knew it, but we saved it. The group's prediction had failed, but not the social psychologist. He was right. Those who had given away everything increased, only increased their belief in the leaders' abilities when the prophecy failed. Now I bring that story up because it is a dramatic example of what we do every single day. We cannot pick on them too much. Okay, we gotta be humble. We can't pick on them too much. No, you might not have sold your car to follow some crazy leader into a field and you're waiting for aliens to come pick you up. You might not have done that, but we do this every day. Remember, it's how our brains are wired. It's wild what you and I will not admit in order to convince other people that we were right or not wrong. And in these times, I think there are several postures that we take and I bet for a lot of us, we take most of these postures. The first posture we take when we're wrong is denial. We just outright deny that I made a mistake, even in the face of clear evidence. The evidence is there, it's hard to ignore, but I'm just gonna deny it. Perhaps you made a mistake at work and it's very clear that you made the mistake at work, but you are ignoring the fact so that you don't have to admit that you were wrong or that you did make a mistake. The result of that is that it puts pressure on your relationships with the people you work with your boss, your coworkers, the people who report to you when you are in denial. Some of us use avoidance, which is avoid the topic altogether. We refuse to acknowledge, discuss the mistake or the consequences that it might have caused. This could be in a romantic relationship, for example. You don't talk about a time when your partner was unfaithful, perhaps with finances. You had a bunch of money saved up and they went off and they spent it all, so that's a form of unfaithfulness. Perhaps it was they cheated on you, they were unfaithful with their intimacy and you both know it happened. At this point, you both know it happened, but you don't ever talk about it. You're avoiding it altogether. And if you're in a relationship with that person, your relationship with your significant other is stuck because it can't move on, because you are avoiding what needs to be dealt with. Some of us deflect Instead of accepting blame. I may shift the focus away from my mistakes by pointing out the errors that others have, and it might not even be related. My son, oliver. He's really good at this, okay, so he will mess up. He will do something he knows he's not supposed to do, like, say, he's outside and he hits a real golf ball. We don't want him hitting real golf balls in the backyard. Anybody with windows knows why. You don't want my son hitting real golf balls at your house. Okay, so we bought him rubber ones, but he insists that you just can't get the right feel with the rubber ones. I know, I get it, I do, I golf too. But look, no, if you're in the backyard practicing, you cannot use real ones. And then I'll catch them. I'll say, oliver, what are you doing? And then he'll say well, elijah, his little brother, who's inside playing Nintendo, where are we going with this bud? I just want you to take responsibility. Your brother is in no way related to this. It's not cute when they do it, and yet we still do it as adults. It's really not cute when we do it as adults. Right, when we deflect, we continue to make the same mistakes with the same people over and over again and, just like a wound, you eventually scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch. And every time you make a mistake, if we deflect, that wound gets a little bit deeper every time. Every time, some of us rationalize. Maybe you have a friend who tries to justify their actions by providing reasons or excuses for why they made the mistakes right. This can be an attempt to make their behavior seem reasonable or understandable. For example, you and I. When we make a mistake. We expect to be judged by our intentions. This is what I intended to do. No, it is not what I did, but this is what I intended to do and, as such, you should show me grace because my intentions were good. Now, ironically, we never offer that kind of grace to anyone else. Right, the other person might tell us what their intentions were and we say, okay, that was your intention, but this is what you did and you need to be held accountable to it. We expect grace to be given to us. Judge me by my intentions, but we judge everyone else by their behaviors. Minimization is another one. We just downplay the significance of the mistake. We might say, well, that's a small issue, it didn't really matter. In the grand scheme of things, what I did wasn't that big of a deal. We might gaslight people. You're being too sensitive about this. Grow up, you always do this Minimization. Now, all of these things which I bet we're all familiar with, you guys nod your head one way or another. You guys are familiar with these tactics when it comes to relational conflict. They have a negative effect on our relationships, a ripple effect on them. As a matter of fact, today you might be thinking of a relationship that these have cost you, that minimization has cost you, that avoidance has cost you. Maybe it's a relationship with a parent, relationship with a child, perhaps there's a sibling in your life that you're no longer connected with, a friend, a neighbor, et cetera. You see, when we take these defensive postures, when we don't admit where we've been wrong, it does come at a cost. You might have won the day, but you're losing the relationship. And when you think about it like that, most of us would say it's just not worth it. Why would I sacrifice this relationship in order to be right? Well, remember, our brain is working against us and so we need God's help. We need to be led by the Holy Spirit in these areas as we follow Jesus, so that way, when our brain is working against us, we can lean on the Spirit and say help us, be the people you want us to be. Pastor and author Pete's casero, who writes the best-selling book called emotionally healthy Spirituality. It should be required reading for every follower of Jesus. So if you haven't read it, buy it. If you have bought it, reread it again. It is fantastic. Cannot recommend it enough. And since we can't read the whole book today, I'll just read. One of my favorite parts of the book were in. Pete writes Many of us do all sorts of things to avoid dealing with our emotions. We change churches, we make different friends, we lose ourselves in addiction, etc. This is similar to moving around to different chairs on the Titanic. Listen to this Unprocessed emotions don't die. They get buried alive. If our emotions aren't properly acknowledged, they will find a way to come out, often in destructive ways. How profound is this quote? What, what, what Pete writes here so profound? Imagine you're related. If you don't understand here, can imagine your relationship is a boat. Every relationship you have is a boat. But imagine one relationship. You're in the boat. And what Pete is saying is that when we deny and when we avoid and when we Rationalize, when we minimize, those represent different chairs on a boat that is about to hit an iceberg and crash and be done and everything is going to be damaged and ruined and not be able to get saved. And what do we do, pete says? You know, when we don't change the direction of the ship, when we don't address the issue which is the direction of the ship, all we're doing is moving chairs. We're getting a different view of what's going to be the same, and I Think, and what I want to propose and argue this morning, is, let's course, correct. All of us probably have a relationship in our lives right now that we need to tweak the direction in which we are heading. Relationships are challenging. Relationships do require effort. I'm sorry if this is the first time in your life you are hearing that. That's a real bummer, but it is true. All relationships Require work and I think the last few years have really highlighted that. Think the last few years, probably since 2020. I mean, you had relationship problems before the pandemic. I'm not blaming the pandemic for your relationship issues, but I'm guessing it really accelerated after 2020. Some of us are an open, hostile Conflict with people in our lives, people that we really like, people we love. Some of us are estranged from family and friends that we weren't estranged from four or five years ago, while others of us are just silently holding in the resentment and the bitterness Until eventually comes to the point you blow up and you will be an open, hostile conflict with them and possibly estranged. The pain and frustration of broken relationships take a toll on us, not just our health and not just our happiness, but our spirituality as well. However, as we discussed last week, a common trap that we all fall into is thinking that if the other person would just change, everything would be fine if the other person did that. If the other person didn't do that, if the other person said, oh sorry, if the other person didn't avoid the relationship would be fine. But remember, while in some cases that's true, acknowledge that, some cases that's true, in this series we're focusing on the one person and you can control. There's only one person in the history of the universe that you can control, and that is yourself. And so, as we seek Relational restoration in our lives, we first have to come to the realization that it starts with us and that we must do the work, and that is going to be the hardest part of this entire study. I will tell you Bible stories You've probably heard of before. I will talk about concepts you are likely familiar with. The hardest part of the study is going to be taking the things that we talk about, taking the things that we learn from Jesus and Putting them into practice, and that's where I imagine a lot of us are going to hit a barrier. The easy part is showing up and listening, and I'm not trying to discredit you for being here today. I'm really glad you're here today. Thank you for being here today. If you're watching or listening online, thank you. I'm not trying to take anything away from that, but the best part of this series will be if, at the end, a relationship that you're missing right now is restored. Now an important note here, as I did last week. Restoration may not be feasible or even healthy in all relationships. I am not advocating that you go back to a toxic environment or an abusive relationship. Don't do that. I don't want you to do that. Nobody here wants you to do that. If you got out of an abusive or toxic relationship, good, don't look back. That's not what this series is about. And if you are in one of those relationships right now, would you let us know if you want to get out, because we would love to help you when we have resources in which we could serve you Now. Last week I discussed how relational restoration begins with our relationship with God. That's where we started. It begins with our God. We want to immediately think what are the techniques I need to do? We want to read the psychology today articles. I love those things too, but it really begins with God. Why? Because our relationships with other people are broken, because our relationship with God is broken and sin permeates our relationships. Sin permeates every aspect of our lives. You might not think so. You might say well, no, the reason my relationship is broken is because of their anger issue. The reason my relationships are broken is because of my addiction, et cetera, et cetera. And at the surface level that's true. But remember things like anger issues, things like addiction, they didn't always exist. When God created the world, it was good and those things didn't exist in relationships and people could live in harmony with one another. And then what happens? People do bad things. We make selfish choices. Sin enters the world. This is confirmed by James, the brother of Jesus. He might have known a thing or two about sin. He observes this that sin ruins our relationships. He warns readers where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don't have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn't yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it, and that's the summary of the history of human beings everywhere. It's the story of people who lived in a perfect garden, with no disconnect with each other, with no disconnect from God, but they wanted their own way. They lusted for something they didn't have. They were willing to risk violence to put themselves ahead. And we do it too In 2023,. It might not look like that thousands of years ago, but in 2023, I think we pivot and posture an awful lot in our relationships in an attempt to get ahead, a step ahead of whoever we think we're closest to, and instead of getting a step ahead of them, we find ourselves all alone. Well, it worked, you got ahead, or maybe it was behind, or maybe it was right, or maybe it was left, but who knows? Because you were too busy posturing and pivoting to realize where everyone else was going, where all your friendships were going, and now you're all alone wondering what happened. My prayer for you in this series is that God would bring to mind one relationship that you know is worth fighting for, that you know is worth fighting for, one relationship that you know God wants you to restore, and I want you to keep that person in mind throughout the entire series and put the things into practice that we're talking about with that person. And my prayer, honestly, my prayer is that you'll be talking to someone special in a couple of weeks that you haven't talked to in a really, really long time. Today we're addressing what is one of the most difficult relational skills, but a skill that is absolutely critical to healthy relationships. To restore relationships, we have to do the work of self-awareness. We have to be self-aware first. When a relationship breaks down, we often focus on what the other person did was wrong. However, if the goal is to get back to that person, think about that. If the goal is to get back to that person, we need to be self-aware. We have to own our own contributions to the relational breakdown. Whether we contributed 5% to the conflict in the problem or 95% of the problems that we're in conflict with, we need to own our part, and so for today, I know self-awareness can mean a lot of things, but today I want to talk about the ability to identify your emotions, the motivations driving those emotions, and how those emotions are reflected in your actions. This is important because often what lies at the core of relational breakdowns is hurt and disappointment. We might think we're really mad at someone, we felt really betrayed, and that's valid. You probably did feel that way. But if we're going a little step further, I bet for a lot of us what's at the center of our relational conflict is hurt and disappointment. Unmet expectations can lead to emotions like sadness, fear, grief, loneliness, and as such unhealthy patterns emerge, you might begin to lash out at other people or giving people the silent treatment. You're more passive, aggressive and you're just going to cut someone off altogether. And then we try to get friends and family to agree with us Be on my side. And so I strike first, I try to tell the story first, try to sell my side of the story first, so I get in there first and I get the support. And then we hold grudges and we rehearse arguments. Am I the only one who does that? You're driving somewhere and you're rehearsing the argument in your mind. You're in conflict with someone and you're thinking they're going to say that. And then, boom, I'm going to say that. And then I wonder what they're going to say after that, because they're going to have a response. They're not dumb. And then you think, oh, they could say this, they could say this, they could say this, and then I've got to come up with an answer for each of them, and then I get with the person and they don't say any of those things like I wasted the whole car trip. That's what we do, and ultimately we end up trying to get back at someone rather than get back to them. We do that, right. We try to get back at someone rather than back to them. This is the difference between revenge and restoration. What's your motivation? Is it revenge or is it restoration? When a relationship breaks down, it can be so easy to deceive ourselves into thinking that the problem lies with the other person, and we convince it ourselves that it's the other person who is wrong, and not just a little wrong. They were completely wrong and I was completely right. But if the goal is to get back to that person rather than getting back at that person, we have to begin to do the work of self-awareness and we have to get real about the ways in which we have all Contributed to the breakdown. And so I want to look at Matthew 7, two analogies that Jesus gives. They're gonna help us today become so more self-aware. So if you want to follow along in the house bibles and your smartphone, the words will continue to be on the screen. We're going to Matthew 7. This is kind of toward the end. Jesus is wrapping up his most famous sermon, the sermon on the mount. He's spent most of the time so far talking about topics like worry and wealth and he's kind of as he's done. So he's called out the religious leaders an awful lot, and so if you're a disciple sitting at the feet of Jesus and he's giving the most famous sermon, only other people will ever read about this, but but you get to be there in person and you're thinking probably pretty highly of yourself what, how cool is this? And we're not like those religious elites. Well, jesus, before he ends the sermon, says okay, now, now let's talk about you for a second. I go no, this is a good part to end, jesus, you had it. Just land the plane, buddy, it's noon, we got to go get pizza. No, jesus says there's one more thing, and he's gonna focus on his disciples and he's gonna point out that, like you know, the religious leaders didn't just wake up one day and decide to be like that hypocritical. It was a slow burn and it started with their relationships breaking down. So Jesus focuses now on relationships when it comes to his discipleships, to his disciples. And so let's pick up with verse 3 in chapter 7. Jesus says why worry about the speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, let me help you get that, get rid of that speck in your eye, when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite, hypocrite. First get rid of the log in your own eye and then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye. Jesus tells a lot of parables and afterwards the disciples have to, like, come to him and say what did you? What did you? What did you mean by that? You know, because they're trying to be cool and like, yeah, we get everything. But like, explain this for, like, maybe a fifth grader or something, and and they always do this. But in this analogy they don't. Well, they don't have to. This analogy is so Exaggerated. Jesus is saying think of a plank, a two by four here, and this is what's in your eye. Let me ask you a question if this thing was jammed in your head right now, how well do you think you could see anything, anything, an elephant in front of you. If this was jammed in your head, you couldn't. You absolutely could not. If this was jammed in your head. Now, how do you know if someone has something in their eye, a speck? That's what Jesus calls it. He says they have a speck in there. How do you know? Can you see a speck in my eye? Can I see a speck in yours? The dust, whatever? No, we can't. How I know you have something in your eye? It's maybe you're blinking a lot, rubbing some, doing one of these weird things. You know you're, you're trying. I can see that you're trying. I can't see the speck. I can just see how you're reacting to the speck. And Jesus says that's it. Like you're one. You can't even see the speck with your normal eyes. How are you gonna be able to see the people rubbing and trying to get something out when you've got this Covering you up? And he calls them hypocrites. He says stop focusing on what the other person did, stop blaming. You can't do anything about it anyway. Take responsibility for you. And so for those of you who are in the room, you like Jesus, you know. I don't know about the Christian church, the kind of a group, a big group of hypocrites. Right. A couple things about that one. I think being hypocritical is probably just a human thing. We're all kind of hypocritical, no matter what you believe. But to I understand why you think the Christian church is more hypocritical, because we tend to be very bold about our hypocrisy. I mean, we really think that we know the right answers for everyone. And if you're someone and you like Jesus and you're not sure about the Christian church, I want to offer you some good news. Today. Jesus agrees with you. Like you read this passage. What's? He call us hypocrites? His disciples Says you are hypocritical and yet when we point out that Jesus doesn't walk away, jesus still loves his church, he still loves you, he still loves me, despite being hypocrites. Now, that's not to justify us being hypocrites. What's Jesus say? Get the piece of wood out of your freaking head. That's what he's saying. He's saying stop doing that. Jesus challenges us to pay attention to our own issues, our own problems. Become self-aware of what you've got going on, because this is actually something that you can do for yourself. You can remove this if you want to. When we find ourselves in relational conflict, our band the natural tendency is to want to focus on what the other person did. However, self-awareness, humility what Jesus teaches. It involves acknowledging what I got wrong. This plank represents the things that I get wrong. It represents the things that you get wrong. That's where Jesus tells us to focus on. If our goal is to get back to the person instead of getting back at the person, we have to do the work of removing this plank from our head. Pastor Andy Stanley reminds us the more aware I am of what God has yet to do in me, the more aware I am of what God has yet to do in me. The less aware I am and the less consumed I am by what he has yet to do in the people around me. Andy is saying that when I recognize what God wants to do in and through me, I become so consumed with that that I can't worry about what God wants to do in and through you. I'm so consumed with that. And it's in this process that we begin to take this out and ask God to help us. Think about the relationship that you want to see restored, the relationship that's broken, that name, that face that we've been asking God to put in your heart. Have you identified the plank in your eye? Have you owned the aspects of it that you blew it when you blew it? The work of self-awareness involves acknowledging what I got wrong, and this isn't to make you feel bad. It's not to make you feel ashamed or guilty, because God offers us love, grace and forgiveness and, as such, we can walk in the boldness, knowing that, even if that other person doesn't love us, even if the other person doesn't forgive us, even if the other person doesn't extend this grace, that God still does. Jesus' wisdom about self-awareness is not always about what we get wrong. Right, it's not. I'm not saying here that you're always wrong in every relational conflict. There's another side to it too. Sometimes you're right, and that's where Jesus goes next. He talks about it in verse 6. He says don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs. They will trample on the pearls, then turn and attack you. Now, jesus' analogy about planks and specks are pretty straightforward. Right, you got the plank, you got the speck in the eye. We can understand this. But the pearls and pigs is not, especially that first sentence. Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Let me tell you what Jesus is not saying here okay, because we might think that well, if I'm a Christian, I can't do things for people who aren't Christians, or from a follower of Jesus, I shouldn't associate with unfollowers of Jesus. That's not at all what he is saying. The late theologian, the late and great theologian, dallas Willard, explains what this passage means, as well as how it connects to the previous passage. Remember, context is really important and here he ties it together. Willard argues that Jesus is not suggesting that certain classes of people are to be viewed as pigs. This isn't rich, poor, left, right, follower of Jesus, not follower of Jesus, not that at all. What he points out is that there's a problem with giving pigs pearls. Pigs will eat anything. Don't. If you live on a farm and have pigs, they will eat anything. You just give them any sort of slop, they'll eat it up. Pigs will try to eat pearls and they cannot digest them At all. You can give a pig a pearl. He'll try to eat it, but it cannot provide any nourishment for the pig's body. What Willard believes that Jesus is addressing in this unusual analogy is that this is our effort to give good things to people who are simply not in a position to be helped by them. You do have good things to offer in a relationship. They're pearls, they're valuable, they have worth, but there might be people in your life who are not yet ready to receive what you are trying to give them. They're not nourished by it and, as such, they're not helped by it. What Jesus is telling us in this analogy of pearls and pigs is that self-awareness isn't just acknowledging what I got wrong. Self-awareness is acknowledging what I got right, but maybe in the wrong way. I might be right. I have worth, I got all this, but then to just give it away to someone who can't nourish it isn't helping. What we're talking about with the relational restoration that Willard writes Again another book that every Christian should be required to read, the divine conspiracy. He writes what a picture this is of our efforts to correct and control others by pouring our good things, often truly precious things, upon them, things that they nevertheless simply cannot ingest and use to nourish themselves. Often we do not even listen to them. We know without listening. Jesus saw it going around him all the time, as we do today, and the outcome is usually exactly the same as with the pig and the dog. Our good intentions make little difference. The needy person will finally become angry and attack us. The point is not to weigh the waste of a pearl, but that the person given the pearl is not helped. The point is not the waste of a pearl, but that the person given the pearl is not helped. Think about that relationship that you want to see restored. Could it be that in the past you have offered them pearls when that person wasn't in a place to digest them? You were right. What you said was true Again. I'm not trying to beat you up and say that every time you have a relational problem, you were wrong. You were right and to this day you don't have a hard time justifying the choices you made, the things you did, the things you said. But let me ask the question that I've asked several times now what is your goal? Is it revenge or restoration? Is it to get back to the person or get back at them? Now? The work of self-awareness is not easy and some of us need the help of a counselor or a trusted spiritual advisor, someone like a pastor, to help us understand the emotions going on inside of us. And if this is where you feel like you would benefit from some work, I want to. I've already asked Lindsay permission to bring this up, but Lindsay does this work. This is what she does. She could meet with you and begin to hash these things out and I just want to give her a quick plug here that she's probably the most emotionally intelligent person I've ever met in my life. That's not an insult to the rest of you, it's just to speak to her giftedness in this. You could get with Lindsay. Be talking about something completely random, she'll hear it. A word you said or how you said, something you won't even think about it. She'll bring it back up. That'll unlock years of trauma. She doesn't leave you there. She doesn't leave you there and she'll help you work with it and work through that and you will feel validated and you will find healing and this will be an incredible step on your spiritual journey. So if you want, I will give you Lindsay's information later and you guys can connect on setting up some times to meet and work these things out. I'd love it if you took me up on that. If you think that self-awareness is an area in which you can improve on it, she would love to help you. Yes, the work of self-awareness is about coming before God, asking Him to show us, humbly asking Him to show us where we have been at fault and what happened in our relationships is about acknowledging the plank in our eyes and acknowledging the pearls that have been given. This is not easy work, remember, these are stories we're familiar with, but putting them in the practice is going to be quite difficult. But it might be, and it is probably for a lot of us, the next step in our journey to restore relationships after we've gotten right with God. This is the work and we don't have to do it alone. God is on journey with each of us and He'll shine a light on what we all need to see within ourselves. God is not asking you I want to emphasize this again God is not asking you to feel ashamed or to feel guilty of what happened. God readily forgives our mistakes, god readily covers us in grace and we walk in His love for us. We can enter into the work of self-awareness with Him, and each week in the series, we're practicing breath prayer, and we're going to do it again today, and this week's breath prayer is God show me you as we inhale and as we exhale. God show me me. And so we're going to take a time, right now, to do that, so we all breathe in God. Show me you, show me me.

The Psychology of Being Wrong
Relational Restoration
Restoring Broken Relationships Through Self-Awareness
Self-Awareness and Restoring Relationships
The Importance of Self-Awareness in Relationships