Monday, January 30, 2012

On the Potter's Wheel 2.0 lol

As I write this, I pray that my heart and true intent is heard. I write this humbly and graciously. I'm writing this for myself because this is something I struggle with and God is allowing me to see the other end of it and I have been very convicted.

I get worked up over things and get offended very easy and hurt just as easy. When I get hurt, I tend to get upset and angry. When something someone does or says hurts or offends me (whether they truly are wrong or whether what they say is true and that is why it is offensive to me because I know they are right but I get prideful and put up a wall being unwilling to listen), I tend to spew out things that are not helpful to the situation. I definitely am not doing what Titus 3:2 says: " speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people." This is very sad and not only because 1) I am being a poor witness to others, 2) I am hurting others who are people who are made in God's image, and 3) Ultimately and most of all I am not doing what glorifies and brings honor to God.

Also, if I truly believe the person has done something wrong, then by reacting the way I do most of the time I am doing the exact opposite of what it says in Galatians 6:1  "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted." I struggle with this part. First of all, most of the time I'm offended for all the wrong reasons and it isn't because someone has really sinned, but even when they have, I hate confrontation so I handle it poorly and will either vent where I shouldn't (facebook is a really easy place to do it and I all to often do) or I will not go to that person directly at all. I will be upset and either spread gossip or just hold it back knowing that I should confront that person like it is said in Matthew 18:5 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over."  I am very cowardly when it comes to actually implementing this verse and avoid it at all costs.  I pray that if, no when, I have an issue with someone, I can go to them gently and talk with them about it. It is so much easier for me to hide behind facebook or various other means and vent, yet avoid what actually should be done. Also, I pray that I have an attitude of humility and one where people are not afraid to confront me when they believe I have done something that is in the wrong. I pray that God gives me the grace and humility to listen to what they have to say and prayerfully consider it. To not get upset and offended (John always tells me that people only get offended at the truth and the truth hurts). To be thankful that God uses people to convict us and sanctify us.
Romans 12:17-21 makes some very convicting points as well. “17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:   ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him;   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

If we are to do this to our enemies, how much more our Christian brothers and sisters? How much more those we love and are friends with? This is very convicting for me because I think I have an easier time being peaceful with those who I don’t love or care for. Those who are not close to me. With those who are close to me--loved ones, friends, people I respect--I find it harder to love them and forgive because when something is done that is upsetting or hurtful (again, whether it is sinful or not is despite the fact), it seems worse because they are close to me. But, we are COMMANDED to love our enemies and pray for them. This has been very convicting to me.

What is very frustrating and saddening to me is that it took my husband being treated with sheer disrespect and slandered by others for me to see my sinful attitude. I'm sorry that it took this to expose this. I am truly hurt by what has happened and am discouraged by the lack of respect and Christian love. Like I've said above, whether or not a person is truly sinning, if you are concerned, please go to that person themselves and don't spout not nice things about them else where no matter what they have said or done that has angered or upset you. There were a few (not many) but a few friends who came specifically to me and talked to me about what happened from my stand point and I appreciated that. They didn't post things angrily on facebook demeaning me or my husband, they came to us. They also didn't jump to conclusions or assume they knew exactly what happened. They went to the source and then made a judgement call. They may still not agree with what happened, but at least they came to us and talked with me. For that I am very grateful and to those friends (you know who you are), thank you so much.  Again, even though it has been a hard situation, I am grateful and joyful because I know what Romans 8:28 says to be true and I can rejoice in that fact. James 1 is also very comforting. 

I have been shown in a hard way of my sinful pattern. I am thankful that God has shown this to me, but I am sorry that others have been hurt in the process. I am thankful and joyful still though because God has used it as a means of sanctification. I pray that God will continue to convict me and have a quiet and gentle spirit. I pray that when I feel the need to give an answer, I will do so in a respectful way that is loving and gentle. To not back down in giving a defense, but to do so with God’s glory and honor at the forefront of my mind. Hebrews 12:14 14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Please keep me in your prayers, my friends. As my wonderful husband has reminded me, when two or three are gathered......