Tag: anger

The Bigger Person

I recently had an encounter with a woman who is obviously bitter and stuck on a series of events that occurred nearly 12 years ago. Her demeanor towards my husband and I on a day that was suppose to be nothing but sheer joy was just down right inappropriate!

My flesh wanted to rise up so badly but I was able to reframe from counter reacting in the same way. There were children around and I considered the conduct of God so I said nothing. 

As I walked away I felt my insides boiling hot!! This is not the first time this person has been disrespectful to me. Previous times were indirect but this time was right in my face! I wanted so desperately to shut her down but knew I would not have been able to do so with the love of the Lord. 

Several days later I still felt myself reliving the event. Does she think I’m weak, a push over, or some simple woman because I remained silent? I don’t ever want her thinking that this sort of behavior will be both tolerated and acceptable going forward! I had to consult my Heavenly Father about what to do at our next encounter; for there WILL be one!

I clearly heard him speak of what Proverbs 29:11 says; “A fool uttereth all his mind, but a wise man keepeth it till afterwards.”

Furthermore, Ecclesiastes 10:14 says “A fool multiplies words; no one knows what is coming…”

He also reminded me that in the event that we meet again, a soft answer will turn away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1)

If I decide to respond in the same manner, a war of words at minimum will indeed be the result and two fools will be present vs. the initial one!

 

My flesh of course wants to give her not just a piece of my mind but the entire thing! She has it coming, but what good will that do and how will I be honoring my Father who has provided the ultimate instruction? She hasn’t gotten over or won anything, rather continues to prove how immature she steadfastly remains.

Have you ever had a situation like this before?
What happened and how did you handle it?

Were you able to represent Christ although your natural man wanted to completely take over?

I know for sure that a war of nasty words by exchange would have been instant gratification to my flesh. The outcome also could have been worse. I thank God for helping me that day not to consider an eye for an eye. This woman too is a believer and still a child of the Most High God Never-the-less.


Turning the other cheek may not be what we want to do in instances like this, but is the action our Savior certainly expects when we represent Him.

Dangerous Thin Lines

Last month I had an opportunity to attend a two-day women’s conference held in a state prison. I have never imagined myself ministering to women who have been incarcerated and was not sure how God would use me in that setting.

When the Ministry team and I arrived, the experience became completely surreal! Being stripped of things I take for granted daily, being ordered around and told what to wear, reminded of what to leave home, being searched and shaken down. We had to walk through heavy metal electronic doors. Hearing that chilling sound of the same slam behind us then lock up, definitely struck a cord or two! The experience surged through my core creating apprehensions that this life for many truly does exist!

The corridor leading to the chapel where the inmates were waiting for us was very dull and gloomy. Although not maximum security, it was clear that the facility was far from modern in every way. Those unfortunate to call this place home are offered no more than the bare necessities to survive. 

To my surprise, when I entered into the chapel the women were already engaged in praise and worship. I was taken aback because of the ignorant perception in my mind of what I thought I would see. The women had their hands raised and eyes closed in reverence of the Lord. They were clearly open and ready to receive! Any mental defenses I had up immediately fell as I silently whispered to my Savior, “Lord, use me in this place!” I was in complete awe of their genuine tender hearts and was willing to serve in any way possible. 

As I took a seat and waited for direction from The Ministry Leaders, I scanned the chapel. It was quaint, warm and inviting. The presence of God was without question in this place! Had it not been for the guards, warden and state uniforms worn by the women, I could have easily felt like I was simply visiting a new church. The atmosphere really helped to ease my preconceived notions I had conjured up in my mind days leading up to the visit.

I then scanned the faces of the prisoners. I was in shock as I considered them. Many looked like me! Normal, non-threatening, sweet, mature, beautiful and loved God. They were mothers, wives, girlfriends, grandmothers and more. What the heck are they all doing here?? I’ve got to be on “Candid Camera” for there is no way ALL of these women are capable of unthinkable acts….

I discovered that I was amongst physical abusers, drug addicts, alcoholics, thieves and yes, even murderers…

As several shared there stories of how they arrived at this place, my heart broke as their tears fell reminiscing on the days they simply made the wrong decision that drastically changed their regular lives forever. It only took a second, a fleeting moment in time that caused them to put dangerous undo pressure on some very thin lines.

I am very familiar with those moments, for I have had several throughout my life. In fact, The last, not that long ago. Outraged beyond reconciliation , responses without thought when I am offended; wanting to plot revenge against one who has hurt me; basking in unforgiveness, hate, cruelty and near insanity! My own thin lines could have very easily placed me exactly where these women are.

Although thankful that my Savior has saved me from myself today, I need Him tomorrow and always to teach me to respond the way He instructs: 

With soft answers that turn away wrath -(Proverbs 15:1)

Love my enemies – (Matthew 5:44 & Luke 6:28)

Leave revenge to The Lord – (Romans 12-19)

Forgive as He has forgiven me – (Colossians 3:13 & Ephesians 4:32)
And so much more…

My prayers remain with those women that have had such an impact on my spirit. As I was there to minister to them, they actually did the same for me. They are currently living through their testimonies and God STILL wants and loves them. I can only pray that I will encounter at least one in the future to see how God turned everything around for their good. (Genesis 50:20 & Romans 8:28)

Are you walking dangerous thin lines today? If so, please stop and consider your future. God has the answers to all that troubles you. Don’t allow the matter to eat away at your soul like acid. If you do, you can easily find yourself in the state of one of these women or worse. No matter how offended, hurt or unfair it all has been, seek God to stabilize your path; He will turn those thin lines into concrete boundaries that only He can sustain.