|"We should not air our complaints. It takes great strength to keep silent."
WE AREN’T FIGHTING PEOPLE. We wear our petty grievances like tattoos when they are more like flies. Unimportant. What we should brush off becomes instead a part of us. No longer adorned with gems of mercy and compassion, we inhale our frustration and swallow offense, and our hearts turn to stone. Our complaints are petty like flies.
I have a technique against falling into this which works well for me. I ask myself the extreme question, “Is this really worth destroying a friendship (relationship, commitment, etc.) over?” What if someone asks me, “What happened between you and Sue?” And I’m forced to admit, “Oh, we couldn’t agree on restaurants.” If it sounds dumb, then it is dumb.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” (Ephesians 4:31)
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” (Hebrews 12:15)
“But she really hurt me,” you say. Is it worth limiting your relationship with the Father, with Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? Do you really want their voice to grow distant and cold? Because offense turns to bitterness, and bitterness will destroy the soul. I had a vision once of people perched on a fence, unwilling to choose what side to be on. Truth is, in not deciding, they decided. Because God asks our commitment, our dedication. He asks for all of us. In judging people, we give Him only half.
In Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7, commonly called the Beatitudes, Jesus preached a sermon centered around the family prayer, “Our Father, which art in heaven.” Chapter 5 and the beginning of chapter 6 focus on people’s thinking leading up to this prayer. These verses as, Who are we when we pray, and what is in our hearts? Love for people and a clean heart toward God is the focus. After the prayer, the remainder of chapter 6 and including chapter 7, take from what is stated in the prayer, that which Jesus had come to fulfill, and write it out as how His statements applied to men’s thinking and choices. Trusting God to be our daily bread, walking in forgiveness toward all people, and not judging them from evil thinking.
Don’t choose the flies because we build our house either on the sand of our offenses and opinions or on the rock of humility, meekness, and peacekeeping that is Christ. How we build affects what we build and the end result of who we are will either stand upright amidst the storm or fall flat. Jesus walked on the water in the storm of public opinion. He spoke to those who criticized Him, seeking to wake them up from their religious stupor, then in the end, despite their murderous hate died for them anyway.
What if He asked Himself, “Is it really worth losing Suzanne D. Williams because I couldn’t do the will of My Father?” I have no pride in saying this, but I’m glad He did what He did. We are told we will suffer persecution. We don’t like to hear that, but it is the compassion in us that makes us willing to do so. All those outside of Jesus know is hatred and ugliness. All they can speak comes from what is in the kingdom of darkness. God forbid we partake of the beauty that is God’s and still spit out hate. I go so far to say, if we do that, we aren’t Christians at all.
Make the offenses that eat at you as small as flies and focus on how to love fully and love well. Live your life with no regret over what you said that you shouldn’t have. And choose silence when all that will come out is anger. Jesus said nothing when accused of what He didn’t do, and while dying on the cross, He asked the Father to forgive them for what they did.
He is our example. Let’s live up to it by leaning on the Holy Spirit when the pressure comes and with our eyes on Him, push forward toward better things. Toward the will of heaven on earth.
“Think long; think hard. When you are angry, don’t let it carry you into sin. When night comes, in calm be silent.” (Psalm 4:4 VOICE)
“We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.” (Ephesians 6:12 CEV)
Image by Azmi Talib from Pixabay
Suzanne D. Williams, Author