Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. Romans 12:17
Sometimes doing the right thing is easy and sometimes it’s not. I wish I could say I always choose to do the right thing, but I don’t. I can wage a pretty good passive-aggressive war when I feel like I have been mistreated.
I have been waging an internal battle with my heart for years. My heart has a problem with perceived personal injustices. It doesn’t handle them well nor forgets them easily
My typical response when I perceive that I have been wronged is a two-pronged approach. First, I avoid the one who hurt me (either physically or emotionally), and second I start garnering allies. By nonchalantly dropping negative comments to those around me I draw others to my side of the conflict. Needless to say, conflict resolution is not my strong suit. I am better at conflict avoidance.
Paul writes a lot in Romans 12 about how we are to handle those who hurt us and none of those responses are to withdraw and sabotage the relationship. Paul instructs us to love, to be kind, to give, and most of all to forgive. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do it. I run away, complain, and seethe with anger. I slam cabinets, give cold shoulders, and breathe deep sighs of disappointment. My desire to handle things correctly only goes so far before my hurt feelings take over.
So, what is a girl to do when she can’t do it right? She owns up to it. She turns it over to the One who created her and knows her conflict avoidance tendencies. She uses the conflict to draw her into a deeper relationship with her Creator. She prays about it, continuously. She prays for the guardian of Psalms 141:3 to protect her mouth. She prays for insight and wisdom. She prays and takes steps to be kind. She prays for courage and shares her feelings even when she is afraid. She asks God to use her for His glory in the situation. She surrenders what she can’t do to the One who can. She allows the conflict to draw her into a continual conversation with her Creator. She invites Jesus into the problem and follows Him towards a solution one step at a time.
God is changing me through the conflicts in my life. He is changing the way I pray. He is changing the way I react. He is changing my heart. I wish I could say it is easy, but it’s not. Surrender is never easy. Heart work is never easy. Change is hard work. But, I draw encouragement from the truth that God will help me every step of the way.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.