For those of you who follow my blog, especially lately, you know I sometimes use situations, struggles, or things I’ve been through as examples to help encourage others doing or going through the same thing. So, this week, once again, I’m being open and a bit vulnerable with you.
I won’t speak to the situation itself, but let’s just say there were a couple circumstances I’ve dealt with this week where emotions flare up and hurt feelings and frustrations win out over everything else. During this time of both circumstances—one of great decision and another of hurt that also reminded me of a past pain—I prayed and asked God for guidance, especially for the decision. It felt like I was at a major crossroads. My flesh wanted one thing and my emotions were telling me, “do this. Leave it. You don’t need this in your life” while my heart said, “What if God wants you to stay?” That “What If” question took me to a place of searching, reading Scripture for answers.
So, today is two lessons rolled into one: when you have decisions, both large and small, we need to seek God. The thing is, that we can only see so much. We don’t see the future or how our decisions will end up or what’s on the road ahead. But God does. Can you imagine being able to see how everything would turn out? For us that would be a terrible burden, but for God, it’s one of His many attributes. It also means He knows best.
The thing is, He loves you and I. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, deep inside the depths of my heart, I think I know best. I mean, I know what I want, right? We know our own emotions and the desires of our hearts. So, we think we know exactly how everything should play out. When, in reality, our paths may not be the best.
If it were up to me, back in high school, I would have settled for a scumbag of a man. Instead, God had my husband in mind, long before the road of heartache began. But that road of heartache led to a beautiful love between my husband and I that has brought me closer with God in ways I never imagined. It changed and healed me for the better—so much so that many of my old high school friends would hardly recognize me.
Sometimes, I feel like we would decide things much differently if we could see things in hindsight. This is why it is crucial to seek God for guidance when you have tough decisions to make.
But I know this can be hard—trust me; waiting and being patient in difficult times is probably the hardest lesson (or one of them, anyway) that I will ever learn. So, try testing it out first. Take a much smaller decision in your life and pray and seek God for it. Like, what meal to eat on a day, or something like that, versus what job to take, or whether to marry someone, etc. If you can learn to trust God in the small things, then you’ll build up to trusting Him in the large things.
But that’s only half the lesson I learned this week. We are all human, which means we obviously all make mistakes. I think sometimes, Christians in particular—including me—hold each other to higher standards. As if because we believe in Jesus and follow God and the Bible that we’re supposed to be perfect. But the Bible tells us that we’ll never be perfect. Jesus was perfect so that we wouldn’t have to be. So, we’re going to mess up. Disagreements between humans, and especially fellow Believers, can be tough to deal with. Because we have that expectation that “we’re Christians, so you should act better” mentality, then when other Christians hurt us, it’s like… “Hey! How dare you do that!”
But the reality is that we’re all human, so we all have sin that we struggle with. Its different for each one of us, but I have flaws, just like you have flaws. She and he have flaws; so do your friends and coworkers, and your family too.
When conflicts arise, we have to remember that. It was something God reminded me. But you know what He said?
“To live peaceably with everyone, when possible.” Obviously, there are some people on this earth that can’t be reasoned with. God doesn’t expect us to do the impossible—that’s His job. He’ll work on a person’s heart when necessary, but the thing is—He’s the one who knows when necessary becomes a necessity.
Which means we need to take a step back. If possible, live at peace with everyone. We need to make peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Try to remember that there is nothing anyone can do to you, that God hasn’t already forgiven you for. We are all sinners. It doesn’t mean you have to forget the hurts that have been done. But vengeance and justice is not ours to do; that belongs to God—especially if it’s more revenge than actual justice. One day, the evil in this world will be judged. Every single person on this earth will be judged—Believers and non-believers alike. The people that have hurt you will have to face God for what they have done.
But you have to face God too. So will I. One day, we’ll have to stand before Him and see how we reacted. Do you want someone selfish, bitter, and angry up there? I certainly don’t. That was when I realized I needed to take a step back and let God deal with the person and in their heart. I can’t do that. No matter how much I want to, nothing I say will change their mind. So, I have to pray and leave that person in God’s hands.
You need to do the same. We all do. Lean on God in all things—from making decisions to dealing with people that have hurt you. But that’s no reason why you can’t do whatever you can to make peace. Apologize for the wrongs you committed. See if there’s anything you can do to ease the situation. Be kind and respectful toward them. Don’t let anger and bitterness grow within you. Because guess what? That only hurts you more than them.
They’re not our enemy. I forget this all the time, so when I’m angry, the dragon inside me awakes and lashes out at everyone around me. But they are not my enemy. The devil is our enemy, prowling about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. His goal is to steal, to kill, and to destroy you and he’ll do whatever he has to, use whomever he must, to achieve that goal. They’re just the weapon Satan is using against you. Don’t let it work. Live at peace and do what you can do counter his attacks. Pray for this person and quote Scripture to help. Seek God and what He wants you to do as you face tough decisions within these situations.
Let go of your hurt and pain and let God take control, because He knows best.