Consider this my second nugget of “Life Practices” that I am sharing with you. There’s a famous quote by Tony Gaskins which says, “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” Truer words have never been spoken don’t you think? People especially from my part of the world are sometimes polite to a fault and if care is not taken, we allow all kinds of nonsense to parade in and around our lives and we call it humility by tolerating others’ bad behavior towards us. I’ve also noticed that most people like to see what they can get away with and if you allow them, it will become the standard by which they treat you. Sometimes they will say, “I was just joking with you” and I’m thinking to myself, you couldn’t find anything nice or fun to joke about but something disrespectful? No, it wasn’t a joke, they try to see how much they can get away with.

I’ve been a victim several times when I was practicing patience and even sometimes just trying to be vulnerable. Not very long ago, God cautioned me with a scripture, Matthew 7:6 NLT, “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. [a] Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” Yup, I sighed just as you did. It’s amazing what you’ll find in the bible – can be quite harsh to hear but it is what we need to hear.

I stopped suffering foolishness and ignorance and yes I set very respectful boundaries with my loved ones and also acquaintances. My dear, if you are sacrificing and investing time and resources into becoming the person God created you to become, one that has been bought at an invaluable price by Jesus, then NO, you shouldn’t allow people to trivialize and disrespect you just because they think they can or that you’re such a nice person or because you’re breaking bread with them in the name of Christianity. Lately, I have no problem putting people in their place and I’ve learned to stand up for myself. I will never throw a stone at someone but if they do, Newton’s 3rd law will be activated at a much higher level, (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). Being a Christian who is deeply devoted to God doesn’t mean you’re stupid for you to make a doormat of yourself for anyone to walk on. Respect yourself, set very high standards of excellence and treat others the same way you want to be treated. If they don’t value or reciprocate it, then draw a line of demarcation and move on. There are still over 8 billion people on this planet.

I pray for you this week that the Lord will give you the grace and wisdom to handle the different situations and people you’ll encounter daily. AMEN!


Lady Abena.