*this original post was written 2/17/16
We’ve all been there, right? Someone wrongs us, and suddenly we’re put in a position to decide whether we should say something and confront them, or hold our tongues.
I’ve gotten pretty good over the years at letting things roll off me. I tend to be very relational, and want people to like me when I’m around… which makes it difficult for me to stand up for myself sometimes.
Every once in a while there comes a time when I feel the urge to respond, and when that happens I get extremely nervous – like, body shaking, palms sweating kind of nervous. It is in these moments that I empathize with David from the Bible asking God to confront his enemies for him… because who really enjoys starting a problem with someone??
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by what might happen. As I’ve prepared myself recently for such a confrontation, I’ve found myself having these conversations in my head where I go back and forth, back and forth, in an effort to prepare myself for any and every response I might get.
As I’ve been praying over this particular situation, I’ve been reminded that it is important to communicate love in the midst of all this strife – even though, in all honesty, the last thing I’m feeling is love. I personally find these reminders in the Bible, God’s word.
Romans 12 says, “If someone does wrong to you, do not pay him back by doing wrong to him. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. Do your best to live in peace with everyone. My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger” (v.17-19).
This command is extremely challenging: keep ourselves from wronging someone who wronged us. What’s up with that? If someone wrongs us, why can’t we wrong them back? It’s only fair! Plus, it would feel really good…(temporarily, anyway). But the Lord reassures us that He will be the one to punish those who hurt us.
I encourage you too, as you find yourselves hurting and unsure of how to respond to situations to remember what’s most important. Think of this issue in the long term: what will the future be like if you respond with anger and hate? Also, what might the future look like if you respond with love and understanding?