It happened again: a wonderful opportunity for me to say what I felt. What I really WANTED to say, what was boiling up inside of me. It even NEEDED to be said — or so I thought.
We have all been in similar situations: someone, your equal, whether on the job, in the family, the church, neighborhood, school, etc., approaches you and proceeds to dress you down in front of others when it is not their place to do so. Not only that, you have not done anything wrong whatsoever. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. They just feel it is their responsibility to be the boss or overseer, even though they do not retain the title, and want things done a certain way…their way.
This is the place I found myself a few weeks ago. I stood there and listened, admittedly my blood pressure rising faster than flood waters, but I listened. Finally, I gently interjected that I had done what was required, expected, and in the best interest of others, but that only invited more tongue-lashing.
I did not retaliate, but walked away, only by the grace of God.
But as soon as I got in my car, away from others, I called The Sweetheart. "You won't believe…..!" And I unloaded all my frustration on him. He listened, even agreed with me that I was in the "right", and by the time I arrived home, I was somewhat calmed down. What bothered me was that I would have to face this person the next day. Many would tell me to stand up for myself, and there would not have been anything wrong with that in the right spirit. Others would say to ignore it; maybe someone else would have different words of wisdom.
I needed to know, what saith the Lord?
So, I prayed about it that night and again the next morning.
When the time came and we met again…she apologized.
Whether this soul has a relationship with the Lord or not I do not know. She never mentioned that she prayed about it or that God spoke to her, but as soon as she walked in the door? "I want to say how sorry I am for overreacting yesterday. When I got home I actually sat down and analyzed WHY I had lashed out the way I had when I had no authority. I am really sorry."
WHAT IF I had responded the way my FLESH had wanted to respond??
What if I had pointed my finger in her face and said what was going through my head at the moment, or even later on that evening?
I shudder to think what it would have done to my reputation and, even more importantly, my reflection of Him.
Because that is what we are every single day: reflections of our God.
We represent Him on this earth. We are His chosen, His beloved: but we aren't just here to glory in THAT. We are here to bring glory to Him! “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace” (2 Timothy 1:9). We have a hope beyond this life and a promise of eternity with our Savior who died for us.
But our salvation is only the beginning. He has a greater purpose for us here: to reflect His glory in our everyday lives.
There have been times in my life when I did NOT respond in a way that would have pleased the Lord. I was eternally grateful in this situation that, as a sinner saved by grace, I didn't blow it. I know I was being watched and so very thankful for the lesson that Jesus was wanting me to learn.
More importantly, I pray I remember it the next time — and there will be a next time — the temptation comes to open my big fat mouth.