I have this problem. Maybe it’s common. maybe not. But when someone offends me, I have a really hard time just “letting it go.” Everything within me wants to hash it out with that person, verbally “deal” with it. Keith is always telling me I should just let things go. But to me, that’s always seemed like an elusive and ludicrous possibility. Easy for him to say, with HIS temperament, right?
So the other day, someone said something truly rude and condescending to me, and it had to do with a difference in childrearing choices, the most tender topic for any mother, I’d say. (I am an anti-gossiper and won’t tell you who or what it was, so don’t ask!) And even worse, it was someone who really should have known better than to make blanket statements like the one she made. Seriously. And it was someone who makes such condescending/patronizing “spiritual” comments to people fairly frequently, and doesn’t even know she does it, I’m pretty sure. Well, this time she did it to ME. And I really, really, really, really, really (understand?) wanted to give her a piece of my mind. Really. But for once in my life, I decided to try out this “let it go” thing. So I prayed a lot that first day (prayers similar to some of the psalmists’ prayers, mind you) and waited. And for the last couple days, every time I’ve felt irritated or angry at this person, I’ve prayed for her, and for myself–that God will help me to forgive her and see her with HIS eyes, not mine. And what do you know? I think it’s working. I’m no longer steaming from the ears at the thought of her, and in fact, I think I might be able to laugh about it in just a few days. Maybe.
I’m just a little surprised that this is working. Maybe I’ll try it again next time too.
And on a serious note, God is reminding me of two things the last couple days:
1) That I am supposed to be dead, as in dead to myself, alive in Christ. And dead people? They don’t get offended.
2) A person who cannot forgive has forgotten how great a debt God has forgiven them. And the debt He has forgiven me (both in the past and today) is pretty breathtaking. So do I really have an option on whether to forgive people or not? Even the really rude ones? Even the ones who should know better? I think not. After all, didn’t He just teach me this a couple months ago. It’s frequently ME that makes such comments, I’m sure. And Jesus did say to forgive others as I would want to be forgiven. So OKAY!
P.S. If you’re reading this, you’re NOT the offender! She doesn’t read my blog. 🙂