We all have had one of THOSE days! You know - the kind of day that starts off rough for one reason or another - or maybe we went to sleep offended and just woke up angry! It can make us and everyone else around us miserable...if we let it define us and consume our thoughts, words, and actions!
I had one of THOSE days this morning! Since I am a verbal processor, I was talking to myself while looking in the mirror, doing my hair and make-up. I was speaking as though I was having a conversation with the person that I was struggling with. This person is someone that I love and respect, so as I practiced my “talk” with them, of course I tried to be cautious of their feelings as I mentally calculated their possible responses.
The further I got into this conversation with myself, I noticed that it became more and more about how “I” was feeling; what“I” thought was happening;“MY” understanding of what they were dealing with; that they should listen to “ME” and take into account “MY” feelings! (Have you ever done that?)
So...I stopped talking. I just stopped and replayed the things in my head that I just spoke out loud in the privacy of my bathroom. As I stood there looking into the mirror, I asked myself 3 key questions that changed everything:
1 - “What is the TRUTH about this situation?”
The truth is that I have made this a far bigger issue than it really is. I, NOT THEM, chose to magnify it and make it something that it wasn’t. The chances are that they didn’t even know that there was an issue.
2 - “What is TRUE about me?”
-I am not only a believer in Christ, I am a follower and a student of Christ. If I say that I believe in His word, then I need to live like I believe Him and take Him at His word. What He says about me and how I am to treat others.
-I can be WRONG! My emotions can mislead me if I don’t thoughtfully consider what the truth about any situation is. If I make decisions ONLY from my feelings I know that I will continuously misunderstand others and be misunderstood myself. If I fail to give others the benefit of the doubt or refuse to believe the best about them, my natural reaction will always be to fire back to protect myself.
-I am a peacemaker in my heart and I don’t like it when there is dis-ease or conflict between me and anyone. Because peace is what I strive for, I work to make it. I don’t like confrontation but I am not afraid of it and if used with care, it can be a tool to mend the relationship.
-I process privately first so that I don’t go into any confrontation with “Guns a blazing!”
3 - “How would I want to be treated if they were upset or struggling with me?”
-I would want them to pray for me and ask God to help me where they see me failing or disappointing Him and/or them.
-I would want the opportunity to have an honest conversation with them. I don’t like to be talked about, I would rather be talked to.
-I would like to work through the TRUTH of any issue there might be and bring clarity to any misunderstandings or miscommunication on either side of it.
-I would want the opportunity for apologies to be offered from both sides and forgiveness extended to build a healthier, deeper, and more understanding relationship.
It’s in this REFINING process that God usually gives me a clearer view and a correction before I have to do damage control!
ENOUGH SAID! From that moment on, I changed my thoughts and turned them into prayers:
*I asked God to help me with what I was feeling, knowing that He knows me and them.
*I prayed for the person that I was struggling with and asked God to bless and help them today, knowing that He knows their struggles and I don’t.
*I apologized to God for putting MY feelings above Him and who He has called me to be. My feelings about any particular person or issue does not negate my responsibility to be who He has called me to be - OBEDIENT from a place of genuine love and trust.
*I thanked Him that He showed me this whole conversation that I had in my bathroom didn’t need to happen outside of it, and that I didn’t hurt the other person.
When you experience times like this...STOP and take notice that this is a test! This test is a part of the refining process that requires much of us and will prove the genuineness of our faith which is more precious than gold! We must learn, know, and trust that our Refiner is God and He is not careless or reckless in our refining process:
-He is knowledgeable, attentive and engaged from the start to the finish of what it takes to move us from potential value to actual worth!
-In the heat of moments like these, He sees our impurities that will devalue us, our faith, and damage our relationships if we don’t trust Him to skim it off and remove it.
-The hotter the fire, the greater the beauty of the reflection of our Refiner’s face that will be visible both in us and on us!
Is. 48:10 Hebrew to English root definitions->
“See, I have examined you to purify you but not as money. I have chosen to approve, to love and delight in you by digging through the impurities of depression, misery, and trouble.”
Oh yeah, and ....
I am happy to tell you that no one was injured mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually in this exercise!