February 24, 2012 0Comment
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses   It is hard work carrying around anger, frustration and hatred, but worst of all it makes us vulnerable. When we are angry or frustrated everything that could offend us does, only fueling that anger. Our judgement becomes clouded and often we lash out at others who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. We pray (depending on which denomination you are) "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". That is why the Lord asks us to love thy neighbor, because a true spirit of love and forgiveness is devoid of the burden of anger and hatred. Of course this can be easier said than done. When we can let go of our self importance and realize that most things people do have very little to do with us, then it becomes easier to forgive their trespasses or offenses. Most people are doing and saying things based on their needs and wants and often giving no thought to how those actions affect the people around them. Yes that is a self centered behavior, but not necessarily malicious. The person who speeds up to prevent you from merging onto the highway is only thinking about saving a couple of seconds, not that they are making your journey more difficult. Or consider the person who is rude to you at work or school, prior to your interaction someone may have been rude or mean to them, and you are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now of course there are many people who knowingly try to take advantage of us. I would suggest that if we learn to freely let go of the unintentional offenses that dealing with the intentional ones becomes much easier. When we are clear headed without the distraction of anger, we can better assess a situation and offer anĀ appropriateĀ response. When we are angry or frustrated we tend to either overreact or shut down, neither of which facilitates the best outcome. Forgiveness is not about giving in or giving up. It is about the emotions we use to resolve conflicts or disputes. When your spouse snaps at you for something trivial, if you snap back an argument ensues. If you shut down and ignore it then you resent them. If you approach it with love, "Honey is everything alright? That doesn't normally bother you.?" the outcome will be very different. There well may be some other issue that is troubling them that is causing them to lash out at you in frustration. For those people we deal with who are not family and friends the same principles apply. When we are acting without anger, frustration or hatred, and we stand our ground we can do so without creating or inflaming a confrontational situation. By removing or minimizing the confrontational nature of a situation we open the door for a more peaceful and satisfying result for everyone involved.