A person to whom, I am related (No names mentioned but she is of the slightly older persuasion) is very big on being attacked. Not by an axe murderer or anything but by “The Enemy” mainly through other people. Mostly, I tend to be a bit take it or leave it with this approach to life as I am quite sure that I can behave horribly enough to make people think that I am a one woman version of the Screwtape Letters. However, sometimes, just sometimes, people are mean and I haven’t always done anything to deserve it.
The temptation, when people have a go and you don’t think it’s merited, is to have a go back. It can be very satisfying to stand in the shower making speeches telling people what you think of them or plotting a terrible revenge.
My default position in conflict is that it is generally “my fault” but that isn’t always true. When I am feeling generally naffed off with people, I like Psalm 35 which is written with a really full on miserable crow vibe.
But when I was down
they threw a party!
All the nameless riffraff of the town came
chanting insults about me.
Like barbarians desecrating a shrine,
they destroyed my reputation.
The challenge for me is to step back from a Rambo like revenge spree and to take my defenses down. Do I trust God enough to fight my battles for me? What if people think me weak? I don’t want everyone walking all over me do I? Yet the challenge is there – in the Bible.
‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. (Matthew 5)
Flippin hard that. Yet, there is a sort of release and even a power in letting go. In thinking, nah, I’m not weighing into this. This is God’s. I’m going to be kind – nicer than I feel and let it be. Not saying I have it sorted. Just think it is the better way.