A huge lack of perspective hit me in big doses this week. In conversations no less. No sooner would one conflict end then another would be lurking right around the corner. I was even accused of being “dogmatic” in one moment where my words were intended to heal a friend’s suffering not encourage it. Hurtful, no doubt! But I decided not to take it personally because I knew that sometimes when God does a work in you, it can come in the form of tough love.
I often struggle with knowing when God is speaking through me or is it my own need to control the conversation by inflicting my views to feel more important and religiously sound!
From relationships to world views, when we think we have the right answers to life’s toughest questions or are unwilling to see another view or lack compassion for people’s vulnerability; ignorance can take over and we fall into a trap where we end up speaking before we think and that can lead us into a terrible spotlight showcasing our lack of accountability.
This happened twofold. Yes, two different scenarios with two different people. They were unrelated yet parallel and I walked away feeling emotionally exhausted. At the time I was convinced I was proclaiming gods work by trying to get these two individuals to understand their “constant complaining” over their monotonous (yet clearly painful) situations was getting them nowhere. That Proverbs 3:5-6 says that if we are trusting with all of our heart, we need not worry. If we think we have all the answers, we are not trusting. If we don’t wake up everyday, give our days and worries to God, we will lack a peaceful heart and the proper guidance to get through each day. I truly don’t believe this scripture works if you do not apply it wholeheartedly. Not majority, with some wiggle room for fear and worry. Not partially, with a small allowance to cry to a friend with continuous ranting of your many misfortunes. So on & so forth, you get the picture!
Even though I believed my words (with underlying convictions) were strongly needed at their designated times, I began to second guess my actions. No doubt God was speaking to me but in his way he needed it to come with a clear, hard lesson in humility. That was a hard pill to swallow. Couldn’t he have given me a learning curve so I could gingerly change my points of view one circumstance at a time? Sleep on it, dive into his word a bit and seek council for a few days? Nope, that was not the case. It was to come in waves so his message chimed like bells at Christmas. God wanted a humble heart to come quickly, even if I needed to feel red on the outside and regret on the inside. It even reminded me of my earthly father’s sound advise, “think before you speak”. Both my fathers were right!
I’m not saying we are to follow God’s word and eat, sleep and breath in an emotional suit of armor. That worries and fears are unnatural or childish. That we don’t hurt when our kids, families or friends are hurting. That we don’t have the innate ability to want to fix broken pieces surrounding us. Undoubtedly, we all have the need to lean on people. It’s indisputable that we will hurt and cry many times in our lives and we need to feel understood and supported. I even believe that from time to time we are allowed to throw ourselves a pity party. But most parties I’ve attended have lasted approximately 2-4 hours and then you go home to face your own reality. When your pity party moves from hours, to days, to years? a new perspective needs to come from your next invitation.
Worry and anxiety are real but Gods words and promises produce the best medicine. The Bible tells us this in Phillipians 4:6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.
Wow, that’s some powerful scripture isn’t it? It’s basically saying there is a promise of peace in our hearts if we pray and give our concerns to God. That he will heal us through this suffering? He will also make it clear why we are suffering? With a promise of protection for us from the enemy who is most likely inflicting this doubt and pain to begin with.
Now I know from truth that it’s OK to lead with his word and trust in your heart to help heal the pain of a sister or brother in need. Just pray about it first. God will give you the right words to say at the right times. His message is clear and his words never fail.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14
Love to you all!