Friday, September 23, 2011

just stay calm

Ecclesiastes 10:4
If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest.

Another translation:  Calmness can lay great errors (against you personally from an authority-figure) to rest.

“Sometimes I panic and first resort to belittling myself (or others) when I’m faced with a problem or crisis.”  - Joan C. Webb

I recently had a difficult time when an individual accused me of being a “lesser Christian” because of a certain choice I had made.  Did this make me a bad person?  Do I not appear Christ-like?  I thought my choices were innocent – however, this person was highly offended.  Initially, I was not sure how to respond.  But I knew that “blasting” that person was not the answer (no matter how good that would have felt).

Processing the proper response tore me apart.  Anger. Tears. Shame.

Was it OK? – Was it sin? – when one doesn’t want to initially respond in the correct manner?  Even though you knew you should respond right and you were doing your best to “get” there?  Even Jesus was tempted to sin.  He suffered as a result of that temptation.  He understands that feeling of weakness. But because he didn’t choose to succumb to that temptation, it was not sin.  
For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.  Hebrews 2:18
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Hebrews 4:15 
Processing the correct response isn’t sin.  It’s when you follow through with the incorrect one, is when it becomes sin.

Another question I had:  do all the “good” things I’ve done become instantly erased by one, seemingly innocent, choice?  Was that choice even really considered “bad”?  Verse 10:1 says {paraphrased} that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch:
Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a stench; so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.
I was reminded that I am a sinner.  A part of the fallen creation.  Therefore, I cannot make a proper evaluation as to what is "good" or "bad".  God is the author of morality.  His wisdom on these matters spans much farther than mine.  Meaning that the choices I make {despite my opinion} may not be good.  Because, who am I compared to an all-knowing God?

I concluded the correct way to respond was to simply apologize to that person and leave it at that.
I gave no added explanation for the reasons behind my choice.
I offered no defense.
No arguments.
No attempts to force them to understand my side.
          --In spite of my {strong!} urge to “lay into” that person.--
Short and simple.
Calm as a summer breeze.

I am grateful for God's love.  
I am grateful for Christ's redemption through the cross.  
I am grateful for the the Holy Spirit and His constant work in my heart in order to help me to discern between right and wrong.  

1 comment:

  1. praise God for His grace and guidance through this trial- He is making you more like Christ and refining your faith!


Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown