Have you ever had one of those weeks where all you want to do is tell someone off? The times when you are like “ok, the next person who comes up to me is going to get an ear full!” I have and to be honest that has been this week. Sometimes you just have situations professional, personal or whatever you may be going through that cause you to want to just lash out. Whether it is people offending you, someone talking behind your back, people not making smart decisions that directly affect you, whatever it may be you just plain want to tell them off. Jesus has a lesson for us in these moments and maybe this is more for me then any of you….
Matthew 5:39 (NLT) says “But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.“
Is Jesus encouraging us to be pushovers? To let someone physically inflict pain on us due to their pain? Absolutely not! What he is saying here is that when those moments arise and you are offended that we are to rise above it and take the higher road. This can be very difficult at times but be encouraged – it happened to Jesus and so we are in good company.
Secondly, I know that I have been dealing a lot with myself on using the voice God gave me not just to sing but to speak. I do not know what all this entails but I do know I have taken the first step in this road and that is leading a women’s group on Thursday nights. I have already seen fruit come out of that and have found it very fulfilling. BUT you know what else has come as a result of that? Trials and pettiness in situations you would not think need to exist. Constant tests that have allowed me to either pass or fail in the realm of turning the other cheek and can I be honest? I have failed many and passed a few. You see, if we are called to speak and motivate and lift up others (which I have been), then what better tool for the enemy to use but to provoke you through situations to lash out at people instead of lift them up. Interesting right?
Now do I believe that every situation you find yourself in is a test or a result of the enemy throwing you a curve ball to throw you off? No, let’s not “over-spiritualize” things here, but what I am saying is maybe we’re not – I’m not paying enough attention to what is going on here. I am reminded of two verses as I write this.
James 3:10 – 11 (NLT) “from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?“
Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
The first verse reminds me that the very same tongue that God gave me to sing his praises and speak His Word to others is often times lashing out at others and not lifting them up. Maybe you’re reading this and saying “well I haven’t been called to speak” while that may be true we are all God’s messengers and we are all supposed to love one another and lift each other up. Are you doing that with your tongue today or are you using it to tear people down?
The second brings to mind that the timing of my sudden annoyances, impatience with certain people and situations has come on much stronger in the past month or so and oddly enough that is when I listened to God and started the Propel Women’s Group on Thursday nights. The enemy does not like what I am doing at all and wants to bring me down, screw up my plans, make me feel unqualified, unneeded, the list goes on…and guess what? Whether you are starting a group, entering a leadership role, or just following in whatever God has for you now, he is doing the same to you.
My challenge to myself and to you is that we be reminded that we are more than conquerors in Christ and that we can stand tall undefeated because though trials come our way, they are temporary and won’t matter at all in the scheme of things.