We often receive the behavior we are willing to tolerate, but what does that mean for our daily interactions?
Communication is the clearest way to let someone know how you are feeling. When meeting with someone who you feel is being rude, we may try to give outward signs of our discomfort, but we can’t guarantee they’ll understand unless we tell them directly. And obviously, this isn’t easy.
There aren’t many people who love confrontation, and even some that do anything they can to avoid it. We’re always so afraid that if we bring up something that we want changed, or share something that’s hurting us, that we’ll destroy that relationship. But more times than not, confronting these things head on and setting these boundaries won’t hurt the relationship but will strengthen it.
This isn’t just relevant for our relationships with other people either – it’s relevant to our relationship with ourselves. How many times have we made personal goals or aspirations but never changed our behaviors to make them possible? We get the behaviors that we’re willing to tolerate, even within ourselves.
St. Ignatius of Loyala had an exercise where he would imagine two sides, the side of the evil one and the side of the Lord. In this exercise, he would look at his decisions and choices for his life and decide, based on which side they fell on, who he would ultimately join: the evil one, or the Lord. By birth we belong to the evil one, but by baptism we belong to the Lord. Each side is battling for us to come over to their side, and if we are striving to be on the Lord’s side, then we have to recognize boundaries for ourselves that we can’t tolerate.
This battle does not need to be fought alone—in fact, it can’t be. We must rely on the infinite grace of God, which he is longing to give us every second of our day. What are the behaviors we need to remove from our lives for the glory of God?
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Meet Fr. Mike Schmitz
Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
He is a presenter in Ascension’s Chosen, Altaration, and The 99 programs, and has a channel on Ascension Presents. He is also the host of the Ascension podcasts The Bible in a Year and The Catechism in a Year.