“We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.” ― John R.W. Stott
A few days ago, I conversed with an associate who was so impressed with her latest man. He was this and he was that. I smiled, and I also kept my mouth shut. Because I knew this man. At least I had known him long enough to realize that the “Brotha” had a history and a pattern. We have to learn to look for the patterns.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in the attraction that we become blind to the realities of ingrained behavior. A person will rarely change their patterns for love — for long. They may stop negative life patterns for a time, but eventually they will roll back into the dough of their status quo and you will find yourself just another design caught up in the web of their pattern.
If he cheated on his last two girlfriends, the odds are that he will eventually cheat on you. If he beat up women in the past, at some point you WILL piss him off enough for him to hit you too. If he curses his mother, you don’t stand a chance at gaining respect from such a man. Because these are patterns.
Patterns are woven into the fabric of our belief systems. We justify our behaviors good, bad or ugly by making excuses to fit what we believe to be true. Even if the “truth” is our own prefabricated lie. “He wont hit ‘me'” to which we all respond yes he will. It is just a matter of time.
Negative patterns have a dependent behavior attached to them called compromise. That is where people inch themselves into deep water by making little concessions in their values to accommodate someone else’s negative pattern. Compromise is the welcome mat of deception.
Compromise will drown you. The enemy will gradually deceive you into thinking that the negative behaviors are ok. “He didn’t really hit me, he just pulled my hair.” Or “I can drive, I only had three drinks.” These are two examples of how compromise will lead to deceiving yourself.
Proverbs 4:23 – 24 says, Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Protect your heart by first recognizing your own patterns of behavior. What makes you tick? What ticks you off? What makes you confront an issue? What makes you run from one? Are you seeing a “pattern” to the kind of men you date or friends you attract?
YOu are the average of your five closest friends. So how do you measure up? What are their patterns? Are you justifying any unacceptable behaviors from them? Have you acquired any of those behaviors and made them a part of your own patterns?
What are your good behaviors that deserve strengthening? Is it your pattern to get up early? Is it your pattern to attract positive people around you? Patterns, we all have them. The sooner we learn to recognize what our patterns are, the faster we can see what kind of life we are designing.