Have you ever had someone say something hurtful to you, that was not true?
Were you in a position that you would have to deal with that person continually (possibly daily)?
And all you wanted to do was lash out and argue?
Let me tell you that my answer is yes, on all accounts. I have been cut to the core, then told things like “that may be what it looked like, but it’s not really what it was” followed by the shifting of blame. Like such indiscretions were my fault. And I withhold the sharpest sword for the battle. I don’t just think that maybe what I know would cut like a knife, I know, for certain. I could have the final, hurtful word. Yet, as I stand on the battle line, wounded, it’s becoming apparent that I don’t want to perpetuate this cycle. I’d rather hold my tongue and be accused, than to lash out and hurt the opposing party as deeply as I’ve been hurt.
What this does not mean:
I am not going to be a doormat, allowing this other person to perpetuate hurt against me.
I am not going to let myself be dealt the same blow twice.
I’m going to keep my mouth shut. I am not going to do battle this time. I’m just going to look forward, and turn the other cheek.
I am not saying this as though it is an easy goal. On the contrary – my mind has perfected multiple master plans for laying siege to the enemy. Yet, my perceived enemy has feelings (I think…) and by lashing out, I just open myself up to be further hurt and wounded. No longer will I be a stopping force in the battle, I will force myself, and the other person, to endure a much longer war than is necessary.
I must be honest, my greatest example of the “non-defensive” response is Jesus. Matthew 27:12-13 12And when he (Jesus) was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 13Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? 14And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.
I’m not blameless like my Lord and Savior is – I am a sinner, saved by grace. Jesus lived the perfect example for us, and while I stumble, fall, trip, and sin, I am trying. So, my powerful sword will remain put up. I will not do battle. I will not make a battle turn into a war. I will focus on Christ, and remember that He paid the ultimate price for my sin, and my opponent’s sin, and that is something I will praise Him for, and I will beg Him for the courage and strength to focus on making the right choice, every day, every hour….every second. And when I slip, because I will slip, I will seek His forgiveness.
How do you respond when it hurts? What is your reason for responding that way, and do you think you can improve your response?