Someone brought up to me the other day the term “passive aggressive behavior” when discussing a relationship problem he was having with another. I’ve heard the term a lot over the years, but haven’t studied it much.
Here are a few links from secular sources that deal with recognizing and defining this behavior in ourselves and in others.
These traits called passive-aggressive are certainly dealt with in the Bible. We have all kinds of unhealthy ways to deal with conflict, that is as old as Cain and Abel. But if we see traits in ourselves that are hurting others and hindering our growth in relationships, then understand that Scripture has the help for us to see those things. We also need to find someone who is wise, objective and godly to shepherd us through those attitudes and responses that are toxic to relationships.
Here are a few passages to consider as we go through the weekend.
Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully; with his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor, but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.
His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears. Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, Is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, “I was only joking!” Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body. Fervent lips with a wicked heart Are like earthenware covered with silver dross. He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself; When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart; Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works ruin.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…
(1 Corinthians 13:1-8)