The blame game. If we’re honest, we all play it from time to time. The reason why we aren’t happy in our relationships is because….
“She never listens to me.”
“He drinks too much.”
“She works too much.”
“He doesn’t care about the same things I do.”
“She’s just not interesting to me anymore.”
“He doesn’t care about our relationship as much as I do.”
“He always (fill in the blank) and I can’t stand that!”
“She always (fill in the blank) and I don’t want that!”
Our fingers are pointing at all of the ways others are letting us down.
If they would only change, or maybe if I was with someone else, everything would be so much better and I could finally be happy.
But there comes a time when a long hard look in the mirror is needed. A time to ask ourselves some tough questions:
What does God want to change in me?
What am I holding onto in my heart?
Why do I think I have all the answers?
Why do I so often cast myself in the role of being the “good” one? The one who wants to fix things? The one who wants to improve our relationship. Make it stronger. Or more exciting. Or just better. Aren’t I implying before we even begin that the other person doesn’t want those things?
Have I asked the other person what they think would help our relationship? Have I really listened to their answers? Or have I been too busy telling them what I think they need to do so our relationship can be lasting and satisfy us both?
Have I asked God to help me see myself honestly and to show me my part? Because every relationship has two parts. And the part I am responsible for is ME. Even when I want to believe the problem is really about the other person. Their choices. Their behaviors. My part is always all about me. And how I’m responding to the messiness that is part of every relationship.
Peter tried this with Jesus.
He’s walking along having a great conversation with Jesus who is helping Peter understand the depth of their relationship and the plan for Peter’s future. Jesus’ eyes are fixed on Peter. But Peter’s eye is caught by John who was walking along behind them and before he can help himself, he asks Jesus, “What about him?” Peter wants to know what’s up with John before he begins the work Christ is spelling out for him. But Jesus says, “…what is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:22)
So today I’m wondering, what broken parts in my current relationships are “all about me?” I’m off to find a mirror. Then I’ll be taking a walk and listening for the answers. And like Peter, I’ll try to keep my eyes off the other guys and fixed on what Jesus wants to change in me.