Responding Righteously...

I'm known to get all bent out of shape when someone says something to me.  I get easily hurt, easily offended, and easily defensive.  I take things out of context all the time.  I judge people's words, intentions, and expectations. 

Right now I'm reading this book called Damsels in Distress, by Martha Peace.  She explores hurt feelings in Chapter 5, and distinguishes between intentional hurts and unintentional hurts.  I was surprised to note that most of my past hurts have happened unintentionally. Listen to this:

Unintentional hurts are sinful on the part of the person perceiving something as hurtful.  Often the person perceiving something as hurtful is overly sensitive, shy, proud, and self-absorbed. (p 82-emphases mine)

Ouch! Martha, give me a break, here! It's 6:30am, much too early to start jabbing at my sore spots.  Nevertheless, I needed to hear that, to be reminded of my humanity, to remember, it's not all about me.  Peace suggests giving others the benefit of the doubt rather than taking it so personally.  She says:

Do not judge people's motives.  Judging other's motives and assuming they mean to hurt you is probably the single most common reason why people are overly sensitive and too easily hurt.  Since we do not have omniscient understanding (even if we think we are especially perceptive) only the Lord Jesus will be able to "rightly disclose the motives of men's hearts" (1 Cor. 4:5).  And until He does, we are forbidden to do so. (p 82-3)
 This describes me to a T, and I'm not proud of it, but I now have a heightened sense of awareness and a better understanding of what to do and how to act in those situations.  Instead of allowing my feelings to be hurt, I must rise above them and consider the other person's true intentions.

Christ's example is one that we must never tire of imitating.  I love this passage in Philippians:

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[b] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~Philippians 2:1-11
May we, the Jesus followers of our generation, grow ever more in the likeness of Christ day by day.


1 comment:

krystle ann-marie said...

Great post, Ash! My mom told me this quote yesterday: "Don't judge a person by the decisions they've made, because you don't know all the choices they had to choose from." It was another good reminder for me!