I was thinking of that saying that goes around on Facebook, a quote from somewhere that says, “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you know is fighting some sort of battle.” The Bible says in Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
I try to live my life that way. Truly I do. But that said, I have been unkind at times on purpose…not just ‘unkind’, but downright cruel. I’ve had moments where I was definitely not ‘gentle’.
Then there are other times where I unintentionally hurt people with things I did or said. Sometimes it was out of carelessness, and other times it’s just because of something that is within them…some sort of struggle that I’m unaware of…or maybe that I’m even aware of but still unaware that what I did or said would cause any sort of pain in the least. That’s those ‘triggers’ we have at times of sensitivity to things that maybe for someone else, it wouldn’t bother in the least. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know what someone else’s triggers are, so we can’t always act or speak accordingly.
One of my own triggers is when I feel like I’ve been misunderstood. I can’t begin to describe what goes on within me when that happens, and don’t laugh, but actually, probably my biggest irrational fear that I have is a fear of being unjustly accused and locked up for something I didn’t do. 🙂 Where does that come from? I have no idea.
There are things that some of you deal with in your lives that I don’t know how you deal with. But that said, there are things I deal with in mine that people have said the same thing about…and even those people I say it about might say the same about me if they knew what I have dealt with in my life. I think that God equips each of us with whatever we need to deal with whatever we have to deal with…and that’s different for each of us. I do not believe that “everything happens for a reason.” I do believe that God knows what’s going to happen, and he equips us each in all sorts of ways, and that no matter how awful things are that happen to an individual, He is able to take it and turn it out for good. Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Most of the time, I can honestly say I would never hurt anyone intentionally. The reason I say ‘most of the time’ instead of ‘never’, is because as I already said above, I have in fact been intentionally cruel. It was in outbursts of anger when I wasn’t being rational, and I always regretted it pretty much immediately. But there you go…that’s why anger can be such a horrible thing.
I will always try to make amends if I have done something to hurt someone else. But I used to apologize for things that I didn’t do…for things that were misunderstandings, or just someone else’s issues. I won’t do that anymore. I will say I’m sorry that a hurt or misunderstanding occurred and try to smooth it over, and I will try every way possible to clear up misunderstandings…and I actually go too far with that when I should just shut up sometimes. But that comes again, from my own horror about having my intentions misinterpreted. And the extent of that feeling within me comes from personal things in my own life that are raw and hurtful. It can cause an emotional chain reaction within me when that happens…the initial shock, followed by the need to explain…followed by anger sometimes because I am being unjustly treated somehow, followed by an intense inability to just shut up for heaven’s sake! And there you go. It all goes back to what I was saying about each of us going through some kind of battle.
Interpersonal relationships are not easy. Anytime you have a relationship, no matter whether it’s spouses, roommates, parents and children…whatever…there are bound to be disagreements, misunderstandings, accidental hurts as well as purposeful ones sometimes.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matt. 5:9 I try to be a peacemaker, and a lot of the time I honestly have been. But it seems…especially the older I’ve gotten…that’s an area I’m not as good at all the time anymore, and I’m sad about that and hope with God’s help that will change. That’s because my trigger point is more sensitive and I find myself flying off the handle sometimes before I even know what happened. That’s not good. It’s one of my faults, for sure.
But we all have faults. I’m not excusing myself in the least. I’m just saying I don’t present myself here as being perfect, or above anyone else, because I’m not! I am flawed, and I am also scarred in ways. With God’s help I have healed in a lot of ways, and continue to heal…only with His mercy and grace and help.
Another of my faults is that I would like to be able to get along with everyone, and the truth is, that’s not possible always. I want everyone to understand me and the heart within me, but they aren’t always going to. I am very thankful that God does…and that He understands the hearts of each of us. That’s something none of us can see.
I remember though, putting a Facebook status on my page once that said, “If you want to see the heart of someone else, look with your own heart.” That’s nobody else’s quote…it was my own. And I personally think that it’s true that if we were to do that…to look and listen with our hearts rather than just our eyes and ears, we would see more and maybe it would be easier to be gentle with people. But that takes time and isn’t easy all the time, and certainly here on the internet with just typewritten words and emoticons, it’s harder still.
For me, I also need to stop looking and listening with my hurts, instead of with my heart at times. I don’t think I’m alone…I think that is typically something many of us do.
I’m going to go to bed now and get some rest so I can get up in the morning. I have to get up in about 5 hours. I pray that you’ll all have a good night’s rest if that’s what you’re headed into, or a good day if that’s what you’re headed into.
Love and blessings,