I LIKE SCARLET O’HARA’S ATTITUDE, “I’ll think about it tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.” Just sweep this thing under the rug until tomorrow, that’s when you’ll deal with it, a later date. That dust you’ve swept under the rug won’t cause any problems. Forget that you’ve made a huge mess of things, forget that you’ve caused a ton of division and strife with your selfish desires, forget that you’ve hurt feelings and destroyed lives; forget all those things. Or not. Maybe there’s a better way? How about you swallow your pride and in humility, bow down and ask for forgiveness? The longer you let division and bitterness boil, the harder the heart gets. Typically, these things left to themselves get worse, not better. Boiling water will eventually evaporate. God is a NOW God. TODAY is the day of salvation!
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:12-13
Don’t even let the sun go down while you’re still angry! Don’t allow bitterness to defile you or anyone else. Live in humility, I don’t care whose fault it is. Seek forgiveness and in the process of seeking forgiveness, you will find peace.
But how will you respond when someone comes to you to tell you that you have hurt them? DO you defend? Deflect? Or deny? This is what people do when you tell them they have hurt you. They will defend it, “you hurt me first”, or deny it, “I didn’t do that”, or deflect it, “we don’t need to talk about it” (the Scarlet O’Hara) This is poor communication. Why is it so hard for people to apologize? Well, because it is. It is hard to swallow your pride and apologize. I teach my kids to always work things out, tell someone when they’ve hurt you. If you let things go unsaid, it can and usually leads to resentment and resentment leads to bitterness and bitterness, well that leads to all sorts of bad places. Jesus tells us,
““Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” Matthew 18:15
You should probably read verses 16-17 as well. If someone comes to you to tell you you’ve hurt them, then apologize. Don’t defend, deflect or deny- not only is this bad communication, it can have eternal consequences. Own it. If someone has hurt you, go to them and say, “it hurt me when you did this”. How they react is on them. Not you. Learn this and then teach these things to your children. Show them and others what good communication looks like so they too can have healthy relationships.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”
Hebrews 12:14-17 NKJV
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