“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18 NIV)
One of my desires is that I live in Peace and Grace with everyone. Fortunately, most of the time, I “get” this, and am able to happily walk in this as a way of life.
Sometimes, however, I’m not successful in showing neither Peace nor Grace to another human being. ‘Tis truly a pity, too. It’s not a side of me that I like. First, it’s not how I believe Our Lord would have me live, nor is it how He wants me to personify Christianity. Secondly, even though such occurrences are, thankfully, rare for me, they do stay with me for a very long time.
Forgiveness toward the other person usually comes quickly for me (or, at least, I can begin the process of forgiveness rather quickly); but forgiveness of myself happens at a much slower pace (even though I know that once I sincerely repent of any wrongdoing on my part, that Our Lord does indeed forgive me, Himself). And, it’s during the turtle neck-breaking speed of self-forgiveness that my confidence takes a serious, serious dive.
Thankfully, somewhere along the line, I will eventually remember that my confidence truly comes from who I am in Christ, and not anything that I have done or can do . . . this is a huge Praise, by the way! The journey to get to that point, however, is not always the most pleasant for me.
Interestingly, the vast majority of the time that I blow the ideal of peace with others is when I have been verbally attacked by someone. It’s not an excuse; simply a realization. I am not speaking of iron sharpening iron; that is not only essential in anyone’s life, it is also extremely beneficial. By “verbal attacks”, I am speaking of passive-aggressive digs against me and overly critical fault-finding from someone erupting in harsh, vehement explosions of degradation and blind (and often ironic) self-righteousness towards me. The latter is when I struggle the most with keeping my cool and remembering that I truly do want to live in Our Lord’s Peace, Joy and Love. I can shrug off quite a bit of the first example; but, even with those types of situations, there does come a time for me when enough is enough.
“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8b)
Everyone has faults. Every. One. Fortunately, I am well aware of some of my own faults; and hopefully, I will continue to allow Our Lord to show me any behaviors and/or attitudes in me that could use some improvement or even complete reversals. Thankfully, His Blessed Grace will continue to cover me during these times, as my prayer for such revelations continue to come to even deeper fruition and my reliance upon Him will continue to guide me into better ways of relating to others; especially when one of those others decides to use verbal attacks as a way of relating to me.
Silence is golden for a reason. Bells cannot be unrung; and, likewise, words cannot be unheard. (Neither can they be unread; but I have far less “heat-of-the-moment” challenges with my written words regarding verbal attacks from others than I do with my spoken words.) My prayer is that, from henceforth, if I am verbally attacked, that I will pause for a moment to breathe deeply, pray for Our Lord’s Peace, Wisdom & Guidance and then respond accordingly to His Will, versus reacting, based on my emotions.
Tell me . . . how do YOU respond when you are verbally-attacked? Is there anything that you’d like to improve upon in this area?
May Our Lord bless you most abundantly with HIS Peace and His Joy!
Thanks for reading,