Does It Really Matter?
An incident yesterday sparked another wave of What If fantasies. What if I did this? How would that make them feel? Or, what if I did this?
In the midst of these self-serving, self -promoting scenarios, a thought broke through, shattering my sweet little scenarios of revenge (for that was what they really were). Does it really matter? If I died in the next few moments, would that injustice matter? These petty little ones? No. Bigger ones? Yes, for those left behind.
It is our Christian duty to leave the world a little better than had we not been born. Those things matter. Not whether my ego took another bashing. Oddly, God seemed to concur with this thought. Several of my devotions this morning carried the same theme.
The first came from Good Morning, Lord by Joseph T. Sullivan. "Whatever happens, let me be considerate in many small, unspectacular ways." I try, really I do...
The second from an online devotional site recently recommended by a dear friend, Daily Prayer. Listed among its morning prayers was a prayer for our enemies. "...deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge." Ouch.
As if that wasn't enough of a conviction, another quoted Romans 12:19: "Do not take revenge." The meditation went on to illustrate how Jesus answered His accusers with silence. His silence spoke more powerfully any words.
And so, again, I am given the example of remaining silent when I want to scream back in self-righteous indignation, to reply in kind to the insults, and even though I don't actively seek physical revenge, my fantasies destroy my peace of mind and color my thoughts with ugliness. I'm never violent in my imaginings, instead finding subtle ways to make the offender feel bad. Same end result - revenge. Does it bother my perceived offender? No. Does it make me feel better? In truth, no.
Back to the question, my new guideline. Does it really matter? If I died in the next five minutes, would it matter what that person said or did? If it would, then I need to act. If not, then I need to keep my mouth shut, pray for the situation, pray for my enemy, and pray for God to give me the wisdom and the courage to act, or let it go.