Robby Bradfordcharacter, discipleship, drama, grow, interpersonal conflict, leadership development, relate, relationships, Stronger, wisdomLeave a Comment

FIREWORKS!  Sometimes they’re beautiful, but when fireworks go off in your head or your heart, they can maim or kill relationships.

This is the third post on the subject of drama on this blog.  The first one can be found by clicking here.  The second one can be found by clicking here.

When a person’s life is full of drama–seeking out and living with intense emotion or suspicion injected into nearly everything–it’s toxic relationally and spiritually, and you can’t grow like that.  I’d say DRAMA IS INSIDIOUS.  Insidious, in case you were wondering, refers to something that develops in a gradual or subtle way, but has harmful effects.

Why is DRAMA insidious?
It keeps me from growing.  When my life is constantly up-ended because I think people are out to get me or I think my boss or my girlfriend or the clerk is doing something that’s unjust to me, I’ll not get a handle on my life.  The truth is, if you’re a person given to dramatic episodes, tirades, or dramatic speeches like one hears at the end of Brady Bunch episode, you’ll never find the stability to work on what you really need to fix in your life.  Personal growth happens when I can put my emotions away and give scrutiny to myself or hear it from others.  When DRAMA runs my life, I’ll never get there.
It isolates me from reality.  When I’m busy feeding drama in life, I end up interacting with scenarios, plots, and conspiracies that just aren’t there.  I’ve known numerous people who lived in a conspiracy theory kind of life.  The government was out to get them. They thought Jesus was coming back next Tuesday.  They imagined their children were out to get them. They believed that most of what the rest of the world believes are facts about history were just wrong.  Maybe you’ve known people like that, or maybe you’re like that.  Whatever the case, God wants us to deal in truth.  Truth is the arena in which our soul can breathe, and we can thrive.

Sometimes, it even can happen that we refuse to believe the negative truths others are telling us about ourselves.  We prefer to keep a narrative alive and believe everyone else is just wrong.  Sometimes that’s important and in keeping with the truth, but mostly it’s just a form of drama that harms our lives and keeps us from reaching our God-given potential.

It poisons my relationships.  The truth is, drama attracts drama.  If you’re in a constant tail-spin, you’ll attract others who are somehow drawn to drama and need.  It also keeps me from being able to trust others.  When I’m in a mode where I think I’m injecting a flared up sense of drama into situations, circumstances, conversations, I’m likely going to end up alienating people who are grounded in reality.  By learning to temper your drama gene, you’ll end up with more relationships that are with others who are healthy.

Additionally, DRAMA usually involves gossip, accusation and getting others to share in the things that offend me.  These things are never good grounds for friendship.

I remember when my family and I lived in Europe, one thing I loved about Europeans. They were far more honest friends than most Americans.  In America, when your friend comes to you, even if they’ve been a total jerk to the person they say hurt them, we’re conditioned to respond by saying something like, “You’re right.  Your boss, your wife, that guy was totally wrong!”

Not so with my European friends.  They would answer, “Wow, you’re pretty stupid.  That was a dumb thing to say!”  “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses”  (Proverbs 27:6).

It undermines God’s purposes in my life.  Because God wants you and me to deal almost exclusively in love and truth, DRAMA keeps us out of these all-important categories. Drama happens when I tell myself false narratives or I decide to let my emotions guide most of my interactions with life and with people.  Drama might seem fun to you, but in the end, it keeps us from experiencing and living out the truth and love that God is looking for us to interact with in order to grow, give and reign in life through Christ like he intends for us to.

Remember the goal highlighted in an earlier post.  When it comes to character, drama may work on a stage, but not in real life.  

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.  –Proverbs 3:3-4

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