The Heart of the Matter

After managing to keep my tongue in check for the last three weeks I honestly thought I had handled the issue of rudeness and defensiveness well, until last night.

The rude woman I spoke about in The Power of Silence, exited the building at the same time I did. Just the sight of her made me angry, even before she sent one of her barbed comments my way. It was then I  realized I may have held my tongue these last few weeks, but not my anger. Normal? Maybe. Right or justified? Not according to Scripture.

Matthew 5:43-48 was in my listed readings this morning. I have read Jesus' admonishment to love my enemies numerous times without more than an intellectual response. This morning the words cut right through my heart. I may be holding my tongue in response to this woman's rudeness, but it is a stony response, not a loving one. Ouch.

So, how do I managed to love her while she continues to throw her well aimed, poisoned darts? Good question, and one of the reasons this commandment is one of the most difficult to obey. I think Saint Paul had the right answer. He mentions all of the things he has suffered. They hurt, he did get angry, but they did not move him. He did not stay entrenched in those emotions, allowing them to come between him and his one all consuming goal, being with God. He let the disappointments and sufferings of this world roll of his back, focusing on his one purpose for existing, spreading the Gospel. I greatly admire his attitude and wonder how can I attain this equilibrium. Prayer is all I can think of.

Comments

  1. This is a good post for all us because we all have people in our lives that affect us this way.....I think keeping our focus on God is the only way to be successful and ask Him to help us to act as He would...We serve a mighty God and He wants us to be more like Him than we do so He will give us the help we need when we need it....

    My problem is often I lapse into my emotions before I turn to Him and that always get me in trouble.....

    Thank you for causing us to ponder on this issue...

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  2. Nancy, you are so right. Lapsing into our emotions tends to get us all into trouble. Why is it we think of prayer only after the trouble hits?

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  3. This post was a great reminder for me, Cecilia. I determined even before Adelaide's birth not to let sleep deprivation become an excuse for unbridling my tongue. I have had a few moments where it got the best of me, but thankfully I have a very patient husband! :)

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  4. Jolina, fatigue is the biggest issue in keeping our composure. It is hard to cope when we are not well rested. I know fatigue causes my patience level to plunge into the basement. A newborn has all kinds of blessings as well as challenges. Prayers for you and your husband during this time of great joy, and adjustment.

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  5. Cecilia-I love your honesty. People can be awful to deal with, try are rude and self centered, but like you said, we have to love them. When someone was awful to me, I got really upset-it led me down ugly paths. But I praise God that he spoke to my heart -like yours-we've got to remember whose behind all the ugliness in the world and forgive their actions towards us and make an effort to love them. Thank you!

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  6. Such a good to the point post...and with such truth to soak up.

    This sentence jumped out at me

    He did not stay entrenched in those emotions

    That is where I get caught, allowing my emotions to sweep me away.

    Blessings as you continue to allow God to shine through you, as you don't allow the enemy to steal your joy!

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  7. Terrie, I understand. It is so easy to get caught up in the emotions, and in some cases the sense of self preservation. We are blessed to have such a compassionate God.

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  8. Janette, yes, it is the emotional response that usually gets me into trouble. Blessings to you as you continue on your faith journey as well.

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