Shaming people into changing

I was listening to this podcast called For the Love with Jen Hatmaker and one of the guests on her show was Dr. Brene. This lady is amazing. Her Tedtalk on Vulnerability was amazing. We watched at work for a professional development workshop. When you get some time you should watch her. TedTalk.

One thing she said on Jen Hatmaker podcast that stuck with me was, we can’t shame people into changing. That really stuck with me. Often times that is exactly what we do. In school you do your homework so the teacher doesn’t call and you and you not have the answers. When your kid pushes someone down at the playground, do you make them feel bad about it? If your spouse doesn’t go to church, or take out the trash, or you constantly nag them? Do you make them feel like a bad person? I’m sure this is unintentional of course.

My husband had some ideas about something that I really disagree with. I tried to dissuade him from his thought process by offering him sound words of advice and letting him know his argument didn’t make sense. I wasn’t doing a good job though. I could tell in the midst of the argument that I wasn’t making any head way.I wanted to impose my views and thoughts on him and it is not the way that should have been done. I had to look at my motives, some of my reasons for trying to change his mind were selfish. I didn’t call my friends and complain about him, even though I wanted to. I decided to sit down and journal out everything I was thinking. It helped me realize that only God can change him, not me.

Shaming was definitely involved, I even told him his actions were blocking our blessings. Which is not only selfish but diminishing of God’s power. I knew as I was talking I was making my point in the wrong way but I didn’t know how to stop it. When the situation came up again I decided to leave it alone. I got much better results that way. Sometimes its not about being right, honestly most times its not about being right. Its always better to check your motives first when entering into debates. My motive wasn’t just to prove that I was right and get my husband to change his thought process, but I was concerned about how his actions would reflect on me and that is not appropriate or my place.

I decided to let it go, God can change him better than I can and my opinion isn’t helping, it was just making him dig his heels in more. It doesn’t matter that I’m correct. I am. My method wasn’t right and you can’t change a persons mind if they don’t want to be changed. I will have to continue to pray for him. I can see his softening somewhat on his position but it will take time. I will not give up though, but I won’t say anything else to him about it.Shaming is not the way. There has to be a better way to get people to see reason, sometimes we can’t though. That is ok, God will always show someone reason if we pray for wisdom for them. We will also gain some wisdom ourselves in the midst of those prayers.


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