Have you had any personal interactions that could be referred to as "Passive/Aggressive?" When a person with whom you either must, or want to, interact with reacts passively to any suggestion or situation, and later leaps into the greater dialogue like a hyper hyena. This really bugs me, and often just plain ticks me off. How about you?
Nothing is as easy as “let your yea be yea, and your nay be nay." The fact that the passive aggressive person is usually passive to your face and then aggressive about the subject to others, certainly brings the whole issue of “trust” into focus. What is the truth? Their passive posture or their destructive reaction.
Certainly, we all lose it now and then. Thank goodness for grace. Also, sometimes we either change our minds or gain new insight or perspective as time passes. Changing our mind, being wrong, and adding perspective are integral parts of any thoughtful and intentional life. I recently experienced this “passive aggressive mode” of acting in a board meeting. Prior to the meeting when a subject was discussed, all joy and light. Then when it arrived on the agenda, all doom, gloom, and angry reaction. You wonder, “what is this all about?” Upon examining the person's history, I concluded it was both an anger and a “passive-aggressive” issue.
I wonder how God handles these issues with us. We commit to him with joy, and often act to satisfy ourselves as soon as we perceive to be "out of His presence.” Of course, that is silly when you put it on paper yet, that is the way we act.
It is both His consistency and His goodness that marked Jesus human existence. That’s the model. He did not react one way to Peter’s face, and then blast him to the other disciples. He dealt with Peter face-to-face, truthfully, clearly and with just love. That is why he is not only our Savior, but also our real-life model.
As an additional thought, it is hard work to be clear in our thinking. It takes focus, concentration, creative ideation, and a willingness to be both wrong and vulnerable. Certainly a high standard...yet one worth striving for.
Of course, I can’t close without a retirement connection: Don’t be passive/aggressive about your retirement, Future Funded Ministry Plan, or goals. If you are passive now, it will be difficult to be aggressive enough later to make up for the present passivity.
Let me know your thoughts and comments. Our dialogue continues.
Living this journey together.