|image | estheroh|
It seems that over time it has become easier and easier to settle for being offended, especially in church. Honestly the percentage of those who walk away from their congregation due to being offended, most likely supersedes any other reason. Countless times I have sat and talked with members who are simply hurt from gossip, misconstrued situations, and down right petty “I just don’t like you” issues at the heart of things. Yet I rarely see a desire and push to resolve or reconcile when an offense has occurred…and I have to wonder why.
But if I do react naturally…how will that affect not just me, but the ministry, this position that God has placed me in at this time? My words no longer become my own and my actions are easily a reflection on everything other than a simple wife hurt by intentional or unintentional offenses.
So naturally I wanted to internalize it. Smile…brush it off…right? Instead I began to become bitter – even angry. Not the anger where you can yell and blow off steam, that anger that sits deep in the heart and sprouts roots that attach to your heart strings. The anger that when you see someone you intentionally walk up to them so that you can provoke and bully them emotionally through passive aggressiveness or unspoken gestures. And that began to concern me – because I’ve had anger like that before and it takes much more than prayer to handle and remove its clutches. So then how do you handle it? Truthfully, because I know as a wife that is one of the most difficult situations when you are a listening and supportive ear – but the information and criticism is about the person you dearly love…and in ministry it can cause an even more awkward situation as your job is to support, to listen, and to encourage healthy change.
So how do you handle it – I ask you. During time with the Lord over many tears and prayers, I had a moment of clarity.