Do you notice that every now and then something happens to us to stir our emotional pot? And how do we deal with it?Do we succumb to the temptation to overheat, or do we keep our cool?
I find that there are situations in my life that keep playing – like a CD stuck on the same tune, rather than moving on to the next – and I’ve learned to accept these replays as a test. I can gauge my growth by my response relative to the last time I experienced a similar thing.
Right now what I seem to be aware of is the temptation to demand justice or respect when I’ve been treated (or decide I’ve been treated) unreasonably.
Jesus never justified himself and never defended himself. Some loved him, some despised him, some betrayed him. He never overheated at the way he was treated.
I’m learning to focus less on myself and more on relating successfully with others. My family, to begin with, are very dear to me. And yet, they are the folks I most quickly react to – in the negative – if I feel it is justified. But there’s the rub! We are not to be door matts, but neither are we to be easily provoked,
Love… “Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:5 KJV)
Often the LORD was provoked to anger (see Numbers, Deuteronomy, Judges, Samuel, Kings…) but justifiable anger over the sin of mankind is quite different from reacting to a minor – probably unintentional – slight by a loved one.
Oh, let us love one another and our families and friends. Let us not overheat at disruption or a display of rudeness, but let us share our disquiet in a way that is gentle, using it as an encouragement to grow closer rather than to break apart. Let us run our race with grace and forgiveness, always deferring to one another.
Let us take the high ground, and defer to the other. And let this graciousness begin with me:)