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Archive for July, 2018

7-21-2018 – A Word to the Wise: Intervention Part 2

So if you have decided to intervene with someone then you must go through certain steps to determine if there is possibility of change based on reality not what you want. What are those steps? Review the last post does the person laugh about the past misbehavior or brag about how they have out done others. Does the person avoid accountability, and feel justified for past behavior? Most important does the individual show remorse and experience any empathy for those harmed by behavior?

These are the deciding factors and if you answer incorrectly based on what you want as opposed to the reality of the individual you find yourself in conflict with Proverbs 9:7-8. (“He who corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you.”)

So let’s suppose you do have someone that might profit from your intervention what do you do? More importantly in the beginning what do you not do?

First and foremost you do not threaten the person with the dire consequences for their behavior. That tactic never works and in fact causes the person to resist. No threats. You do not judge the person, again this will be sensed by the individual and they will reject your intervention.

You absolutely must understand the benefits for the behavior from their point of view. What are those rewards? At the very least it makes them feel important. They feel in control. They get attention. They avoid accountability. They feel superior. They get their own way. You have to see the situation from their point of view, which means not arguing with them.

With those elements clearly in mind you are ready to begin intervention.

The first step is getting the person to realize their patterns of control. How their behavior influences others. Understanding that the intent is to control others. This means examining a multitude of situations and them pointing out the behavior and how it controls the outcome.

There is no shortcut for this examination. The more episodes brought up allows the person to see the behavior being repeated over and over and brings an acknowledgment of the behavior.

The person then must acknowledge the behavior its purpose and most importantly the justification for the behavior. The person believes that they have the right to use the behavior and this must be acknowledge before moving to the next step.

Next examine the abusive attitudes involved and be able to name the attitude and given examples of the destructive nature of the abuse. The person must acknowledge the seriousness of the nature of these attitudes. Ultimately the person must be able to acknowledge their intent to have the last say in any matter.

Step three after acknowledging and understanding their patterns of control, awareness of the purpose of the behavior, and the destructive nature of the attitudes then you’re ready for the most important part.

The most important step, helping the person develop empathy for others. This may be very difficult for the person is not use to experiencing empathy for another.

This requires you to know and thoroughly understand the person, and particularly the past which has contributed to the lack of empathy, and at the same time when they once experienced empathy for another. Building on these experiences you are ready for the last stage.

The final step is causing the person to understand they must get right with others, asking forgiveness, and forsaking past behavior.

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7-16-2018 – A Word to the Wise: MAKING INTERVENTIONS
Among those who misbehave who responds to Intervention? Who rejects any attempt to alter behavior? How does one discern the difference?

The rebellious are made up of the selfish, self-centered individuals some of which are immature and follow a foolish path. Others still are those who stubbornly hang on to rebellious ways without concern for the life of others.

Jesus tells us that He knows the heart of man, and insist that we should as well. He gives us the tools to make this evaluation. “but Jesus did not trust himself to them, because He knew all men and needed no one to bear witness of man, for he himself knew what was in man.” Jn. 2:24-25. So the first requirement is to know the heart of another. How may we know that?

“You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit.” Mt. 7:16-17. Or again “Does a spring pour forth from the same opening fresh water and brackish? Can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.” James 3:11-12.

So what are the characteristics of the hard core rebellious person? What exactly are we to know? To do?

They are; …”men of perverted speech, who forsake the paths of righteousness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of speech; men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways. Proverbs 2:12-15.
Typically, as early as their teens, some even earlier, disobey their parents. They constantly accuse the parent of not loving them if the parent does not meet every desire.
As adults, they lack integrity, they lie cheat steal from anyone that touches their lives. Frequently, they may be seen as obsessed with anger. The fruit produced in their lives is spoiled, self-centered without redeeming factors. They constantly demand that other give to them and refuse or do not know how to give to others.

The great mistake made by parents and others is that the helper tends to believe they may be fixed. All that is necessary is to convince the person of the long term consequences of such behavior. Sadly, this approach is counter to scripture and is set to failure from the beginning. Regardless parents, teachers, judges, and other continue to believe they are able to convince the rebellious of their folly, and somehow the person will turn aside.

Sadly, scriptures warns against such response and declare “he who corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.” Proverbs 9:7-8. I cannot even start to recount the numerous times I have tried to get parents, teachers, parole officers and other court representatives to see the failure of these responses. Over and over chances are given to the offenders, the criminals, the rebellious teens warnings which are ignored.

The question that faces us is why does such attempts fail? Why can the offender not see the long term consequences of their behavior?

The reality is the offender does see the consequences however what we fail to understand is that the offender weights the rewards of change over against the benefits of their behavior and they find that the rewards of dishonesty, immorality, anger far outweigh the benefits of change.

What one may ask, are the benefits of misbehavior?

First and foremost rebellious behavior allows the offender to control other people and situations. This is no small benefit. Think how helpless you feel in the presence of a rebellious person. How every word is turned against you. How every suggestion is subject to ridicule, and reduced to ashes.

Moreover, the one misbehaving gets attention. Attention which makes them feel important and invulnerable. It draws attention away from others causing righteous to feel unimportant. Exactly, how they are intended to feel at the hands of foolish men.
Misbehavior is rewarding in that it allows the person to get their way if they act out enough. This leads to feelings of superiority over others. Unfortunately, the one misbehaving avoids accountability for their misdeeds.

Who are these people? They are the rebellious teens, now grown in their 20’s and 30’s who spend the day playing games, drinking, drugging, and wasting the days away in endless recreational activities. Unable and unwilling to hold a job or provide for children born to their various girlfriends.

With these kind of benefits how will you be able to convince the person that it is far more rewarding to behave? Thus attempts to control, discipline, educate, the one misbehaving leads to failure.

One may inquire is the person able to change, of course? Will they change with all of these benefits, unlikely? Consider, if you felt justified, always had the ultimate say in any matter, the ability to control relationships, would you change?

So how does one deal with this narcissistic type behavior? First one must discern the likelihood of the person wanting to change. This is based on the type of behavior, how consequences are treated, and the rewards for change.

Why would any want to change? The Lord is unwilling for any to be lost so he places stumbling blocks in our paths to detour us away from the paths that lead to destruction. Some therefore hesitate at these road blocks long enough to reconsider their ways. One might even say some seeds of the kingdom have found their way into a bit of soil.
These are the one we focus on for they offer the highest hope of redemption. The first problem is one of selection. That means testing for sincerity. How is that to be done? Simply by their fruit you are to know them. Do they take great pleasure in recounting their misdeeds? When in mixed company do they ally themselves with the rebellious crowd? Excuse the past as the problem brought on by others? Do they still get thrills from their misdeeds? Do not waste your time energy, or resources.

In contrast does the person show remorse for past behavior? Accept responsibility for the consequences of their past misbehavior? These you may have some success with if your careful.

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