“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is to ones’ glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11
I don’t remember who said it, but I heard it one time, “Life would be easy if you didn’t have to deal with people.” So as I’ve encouraged friends going through a relationship challenge, tongue-in-cheek, I quote the unknown person.
And we laugh together at the nugget of truth in that statement. Partly because we know we are one of them.
An older gentleman in our church described being part of a church family as akin to being bricks in a tumbler. We smooth off one another’s rough edges. Sounds pleasant . . .right?
I was reminded by a friend this morning that humility lays the foundation for wisdom, and even sometimes humiliation is wisdom’s foundation. And how humility is kind of a pain, and is such a good foundation for having a heart that is teachable.
We really do learn much in pain.
Wouldn’t it be nice if wisdom came freely? If automatically we knew what to do and how to walk through every situation with stellar performance? And a willing heart to top off the wisdom? Because even when we know what to do, it’s HARD. To. Do. It.
And the real truth is, that when we do encounter crisis in relationships, there are never easy answers. Because each challenge can be as unique as we are. This is one area that walking with God is -for me- extremely necessary. I am so desperate for His voice in my head, and His word in my heart.
Because I’d just run away from everything that bumps up against my rough edges.
Who wants conflict?
Well, I guess some do. I digress as I’m definitely not one of them. But you might be?
So in the thick of life, there will be no escaping our opportunities to face offenses *ahem* discover wisdom. And the natural responses are usually the ones that have ramifications. That steal from us and others.
Gossip, malice, slander, retaliation, bitterness. And my particular brand of sinful reaction, the lovely “Poor me, I wanna flee.” self-pity.
And so here is one more benefit from hanging out with my friend Oswald, his words I’ve read repeatedly underscore truth.
“Beware of allowing your self-awareness to continue, because slowly but surely it will awaken self-pity, and self-pity is satanic.” ~Oswald Chambers ~My Utmost For His Highest
And the voice of the Holy Spirit speaks there in the darkness, TRUST:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge GOD and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6
Self pity or any other sinful response to offense comes from self-focus. We either want to protect self or defend self. And in so doing, we are self-reliant.
Letting God be our shield and defender. And, in obedience to the voice of His Spirit, allow humility to have it’s work.
Years ago, I took a course by Francis Frangipane called In Christ’s Image Training [highly recommend!] in which I read this article “How To Become Unoffendable” Even if you are not in such circumstances today, you might be tomorrow and might like to have his wisdom in your heart-file.
31 Days of Walking With God Series:
For Day 1 & 2: Walking With God
For Day 3: Walking With God ~ He Hears
For Day 4: Walking With God ~ On Sunday
For Day 5: Walking With God ~ Hearing My Daddy’s Voice
For Day 6: Walking With God ~ I Smile With Him
For Day 7: Walking With God ~ My Savior and His Friend Oswald
For Day 8: Walking With God ~ In A Long Line Of Leavers
For Day 9: Walking With God ~ Spectacular Love, Bewildering Composure
For Days 10, 11, 12 I plead grace. [and a spectacular fall weekend] 🙂
And, you didn’t think I’d leave you without a song to encourage you in enduring pain and growing in wisdom, did you?
WHY by Michael Card [Why did it have to be a friend who chose to betray the Lord? And why did he use a kiss to show them? That’s not what a kiss is for.]