Standing in a hallway, I wanted to do what was right in God’s sight.
I remembered back a couple days ago…how I stated my opinion in a group meeting, how I stood for what I believed in, how I spoke up and used my voice. Did I come off too strong? Maybe. Plus, I sensed one man was not too happy with me. I didn’t agree with his opinion.
I knew he was only 20 feet away, in the room next to the hallway.
Wanting to do what was right, I stuck my head into the room and I said to him, “I just want to apologize if I came off strong the other day…”
He answered in a way that I did not expect, he said, “Absolutely, you did!!!! You are ___.” He called me a slur name and went on a short tirade.
Everything in me was shocked. I was apologizing and, now, everything was going sideways. The words he was speaking were shocking. What would I do now? I had to defend myself! I had to tell him what my heart was! I had to tell him that this is no way to talk to me, didn’t I?
“When they hurled their insults at him (Jesus), he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Pet. 2:23)
Wanting to do what was right, wanting to trust my Savior to be my Defender, I took the insults…without speaking anything, but, “I am sorry”. I will tell you all — it wasn’t easy. I grabbed my two kids by hand, backed out of that room, and found refuge in a vacant room.
I started to cry. My sweet children heard it all and tended to my heart.
I felt so loved. God defended my tender spirit as I saw their outpouring love. It was a momma moment that was so precious. I got to tell them how I trust Jesus to defend me. They got to see that trust in action.
None of this is because I am so great; I am not. In fact, I probably was too overzealous in that initial meeting. In any case, I saw the man today, weeks later… As he passed by, I smiled and said hello.
My kids were with me. They asked, “Mommy, was it hard to do that?”
I said, “Yes, but I don’t want the enemy to win. And, if I am angry or resentful, the enemy wins.”
I hope my kids got the message, in reality — love is the only force the enemy can’t defeat; against love, the enemy can’t ever win.
Who might you be prone to argue against? What if you gave up your fight? What value is it adding anyway? What if you trusted God to fight on your behalf?
You know, I can’t help but think — we don’t fight against flesh and blood. We fight against a real-live enemy who is dead-set on luring us into bitterness, anger, rage, online quarrels, resentment and futility. We don’t have to take his bait.
I am not saying there is not a time that we don’t stand up for ourselves or use our voice (there most certainly is times God calls us to do this), but what I am saying is — we must remember: Love never fails. And, Jesus laid down His life for His friends.
Laying down can be hard to do, but loving others is always a winning game in God’s eyes.
Prayer: Father God, forgive me for being so easily offended. Forgive me for my anger. Forgive me for my sin. I am coming before you today, to humble myself in your sight. I want to be love, as you are love. I want to be gracious and kind, as you are towards me. Please give me all the grace I need today to let go of my rights and to find myself wholly loved, defended and cared for in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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