We've all had it happen.
No one is exempt.
We read something. We hear something. Something is said directly to us and all of the sudden the hair is standing up on the back of our neck. We get a lump in our throat and the need to defend ourself takes over. And even of we don't actually defend ourself the offense is taken and we build a wall and bitterness takes root. We twirl what was said or what was done around in our head like the spin cycle on the washing machine. It consumes our thoughts. It takes over. At least until the next time something is said or done and then it starts all over again.
What do we do when this happens?
I mean the Bible talks about turning the other cheek and overlooking wrongs but how do we actually do that? And why would we even want to?
Here are three things we can do when our feathers have been ruffled:
1. STOP. The first thing we can do is stop what we are doing and get alone and wrestle the thing through with God. He's big enough to handle it and only He can give us the peace and the wisdom we need in the midst of an offense.
An offense is defined as annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles.
You see that word perceived?
Many times it is just our perception of what has been said or done that has us offended. It's not actually the intention of the other person to hurt us. We need to have wisdom in these situations.
Sometimes people speak out of their own pain with total disregard for those they might hurt with their words. When we can't see past our own pain its hard to protect those around us.
Getting alone, praying, and thinking things through before we lose our temper can go along way in healing and not causing further damage to a relationship.
2. GO. After you have stopped and prayed for wisdom maybe God will call you to go and to talk to the offender. You see we have very creative imaginations. We make up in our mind all kinds of reasons the person said what they said or did what they did. Sometimes we need to just let them know what they said has hurt us.
Chances are they didn't try it or had no idea it would hurt us. I wonder how many relationships have been broken over something that was said and the person who said it really had no idea what happened. They didn't even know they said anything to hurt us.
Give people a chance to make it right. I have a friend who I love dearly but when we first met I was in her words "rude". Had she not come to me and told me how she felt and given me the chance to make things right we may have never become friends and what a loss that would have been.
It was also a good chance for me to not be offended by her perception of me and to think about the way I can come across even if its not my intention.
3. RELEASE IT. The final thing we can do is just release the thing. Give God all our hurt and pain and move on. Because you see sometimes even after we have stopped and prayed and even after we have brought this hurt up to the offender we can still feel pain.
Reconciliation doesn't always happen the way we think that it should so we have a choice to make. Stay hurt and become bitter or let it go and move on. The choice is ours.
Christ is coming back for a unified church. We are commanded to love. To throw off bitterness. To seek peace. If we want to be obedient followers of Christ sometimes we have to do the hard thing but take heart friend we will be blessed and honored for it. The day will come when all hurts and offenses will be taken away and none of it will matter anymore.
The enemy wants to steal our joy and he loves more than nothing else for us to be offended and to become bitter. It makes his job of stealing, killing, and destroying much much easier when we are in the state of bitterness. Let's choose not to give him any ground here girls. Let's be strong, courageous, and trust that no matter what. God has our backs!
If I can pray for you in anyway please email me! It would be my honor to do so!