Proverbs 5:21-23 (NKJV) For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths. His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
Some of our defects are easy to own up to and others aren’t. A behavior habit that can be identified with depression and dependency is ‘crankiness’. It can be the outward manifestation of bitterness.
Crankiness can be a defense mechanism, when it is put to good use by a person who wants to be left alone. People don’t normally want to be around someone who is cranky, so a person who is cranky, is often left alone. Whether the cranky person wants to be left alone, or not—cranky people often get just what they want, in one way or another.
However, Crankiness is sometimes a paradox. A person might be cranky because they are lonely—yet they are often lonely because they are cranky.
Not everyone who is cranky wants to be alone…and not all people are turned off by crankiness. Some cranky people actually use this behavior to get attention. In a relationship where there is a ‘giver’ and a ‘taker’, the ‘taker’ will sometimes use crankiness to get ‘giver’ to do something for them.
‘Giver’ lives to be needed and often thrives on the crankiness of ‘taker’. ‘Giver’ tries to fix ‘taker’ by jumping to attention whenever ‘taker’ barks or whines. ‘Giver’ means well, but at the end of the day, all that is accomplished by ‘giver’s’ responses—is enablement. ‘Taker’ isn’t fixed by ‘giver’s’ goodness.
If you have a tendency toward crankiness, you might want to take some time to step back and have a look at what crankiness has accomplished in your life. It might be a habit that you didn’t necessarily set out to develop. Maybe it occurred over a period of time and you’ve never really given it much thought. Maybe you don’t even see yourself as a cranky person.
An important thing to consider is, how often would you say you are cranky? Is it every morning? Is it every night? Are you sometimes cranky throughout the day, as well? What reasons do you give for being cranky? Is it other people’s fault? Is it that you didn’t sleep well? Is it that you haven’t had your coffee? Does there have to be a reason—or is crankiness just a habit that people associate with you as one of your personality traits?
Maybe you’re not cranky at all, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the potential. Self-examination is never a bad thing, if it leads to self-improvement…or, if it prevents a behavior problem from developing.
In your recovery journey, you might have already made steps to get rid of a problem with bitterness, but possibly some of the spin-offs that were related to bitterness were not actually recognized as part of it. Crankiness may have come about in your life as a way of coping during the time when you had reasons to be bitter.
After you have acknowledged bitterness as a sin and repented of it, you still have to guard against it coming back. You also have to search for the ways it has affected your behavior…and work to improve them.
God knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. He can help us gain understanding of our faults and give us the help we need to conquer any kind of defect in our character. As always, the way to change—starts with repentance and admitting that crankiness is a sin.
The Bible tells us to do unto others as we would like to have them do for us. I’m sure none of us would like to be treated with crankiness. Dealing with another person’s crankiness is never pleasant. Everyone would rather be treated with kindness and dignity instead. For a full recovery, crankiness has to go.
Left unattended—or allowed to continue, crankiness can become a roadblock in a person’s progress. There is never a good reason to make other people feel miserable—or make them feel they are the cause of a problem that is really our own. Crankiness is manipulation, and doesn’t belong in the life of someone who was created in the image of God.
Declaration: I will find new strength by continuing to examine myself for character defects as I move forward in my recovery journey. I will guard myself from cranky behavior. If I have behaved in a cranky manner to anyone, I will ask their forgiveness and promise not to be cranky to them any more.
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