Sunday, August 11, 2019

Try Doing the Opposite

Willard Harley in his book His Needs, Her Needs says relationships work like a bank account where you make deposits and withdrawals. Deposits are pleasant and friendly interactions with others, like smiling and speaking words of encouragement. Withdrawals are angry and hurtful encounters with others, such as frowning, criticizing, and arguing. If you’re making more deposits than withdrawals with an individual, you'll have a replenishing relationship. But if you’re making more withdrawals than deposits it will become a draining relationship and it will eventually go bankrupt.

In a Seinfeld episode, George Costanza was frustrated because every decision he made had turned out to be wrong. Jerry says, "Here's your chance to do the opposite. If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." George realizes Jerry is on to something. If he acted completely opposite of his natural reactions, he might have better results. George said, "Yes! I will do the opposite!" By doing the opposite he found every situation always turned out in his favor.

It was Jesus, not Jerry, who said to "do the opposite" in Luke 6:27-28.
“When people hate you (withdrawal), do good to them (deposit).
When people curse you (withdrawal), bless them (deposit).
When people mistreat you (withdrawal), pray for them (deposit)”
In other words, respond to your adversary in the opposite way you would naturally react.

To make a valid deposit in another person's account, it must be in a currency that's acceptable to the other person's bank. What you like to receive may not be what others like to receive. My wife's "relationship bank" likes to receive flowers as deposits. However my bank doesn't accept flowers. My bank likes to sports paraphernalia as deposits. To build a relationship, give them something they would like to receive.

You can turn a bad marriage into a good one by building up the account balance. Stop making withdrawals (arguing) and make ongoing deposits into your spouse's relationship bank (having fun together). If you’ll make more deposits than withdrawals, the relationship will change from negative to positive. And you can take that to the bank.

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett