Like the kid that jumps on the elevator and pushes every button from 2nd floor to 92nd, people can really push my emotional buttons. It would be so much easier to react negatively, but as a Christian I’m not called to live in the flesh, but to allow the Holy Spirit to reside and react within me. Yeah ok, easy peasy?!? **insert eye roll**
I can very specifically remember the last time I seriously flew off the handle with someone. It has been years (praise God for His help!) and I to this day remember the feeling I had. Almost as soon as the moment was gone, I knew I had to call that person asking their forgiveness. The worst part was it was in front of my daughter and one of her friends. (Godly Mom of the Year material, right?) I pray something was learned in my humility and apology which the girls were also a witness to. I thank God this woman was a little more mature in her walk and extended an enormous amount of grace and mercy in this situation. Oh what a lesson I learned. (maybe in this situation – I was the difficult one?!)
Just like everything we encounter in our lives, there is an answer in the word of God. You don’t have to look very far to learn Jesus is pretty clear on how we are to deal with the difficult, unloveables in our lives. In the Sermon on the Mount, He says “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you” [Luke 6:27-31] We are not called to get even or play the ‘one-up’ games. Jesus is really clear in that we are not to repay evil with evil or insult with insult. Yet, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. [1 Peter 3:9].
In today’s day of “don’t let anyone get anything over on you”, these concepts are foreign. I can’t say they come easy. And I surely still get angry at people, especially when I see a friend or loved one getting hurt. To be perfectly clear, I’m not talking about righteous anger – there is a place for that too and perhaps we can address in another post. This topic is the fleshly sassy pants nature we tend to have when things aren’t going just as we want. For example; My mama bear instincts still burn up my heart with evil “let me tell them a thing or two” thoughts. However since God’s Spirit lives in me, I don’t get to do and say whatever I want. I am called to submit to God, committed to His Spirit no matter how I feel about it. OUCH!
Since God is like pretty smart and totally sovereign and junk – His promises bring the greatest rewards. When we learn to submit to God, we can see ourselves more easily submitting to others, even those who are not so kind. By reacting with a Holy Spirit perspective, you are setting yourself apart and different. You are creating an impact and influence in the world around you. People, maybe even only one, are watching you and you could be the only bible they have ever read.
The reward – we must set ourselves apart for the purpose of sharing the gospel. In word AND in deed. Be different, so people want to know why. Then when they ask, tell them Jesus.
Pray with me: Dear Father God, thank you for loving me. Thank you for giving me a passionate heart and for the fires that you know burn in me. And thank you for helping tame those fires from being destructive, but directing my fiery spirit toward a passion for the lost and dying world. Let someone, if even just one, ask what’s different so that I can tell them Jesus. For it is in Jesus’ name, I get to talk to you at all. Through his blood, you saved me and I love you so much God. Thank you for saving me, for changing me and continuing to work in me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
In His Grip, Ashlee.