"Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."
~ 1 Peter 3: 9
I have several friends, and I hope that I come across that way as well, that attempt to keep toxic posts off social media, and for that matter, attempt to stay away from toxic people.
Even Christians can have their moments.
As a younger person (hoping that I am now older and wiser) I wouldn't back down from situations. One might even say that I liked a "good fight."
Over and over I would hear "you must learn to pick your fights."
And over and over again, I would find that I would become frustrated, hurt, or become part of the same toxic mix.
It happens everywhere, and if we are honest, we have all had these encounters.
Let's face it, we live in a world that wants to be upset about something. There are the usual suspects. Government, schools, work environments, and of course, some families, but for the most part, it's random. With the advancement of social media, texting, and emojis, we have lost our ability to communicate, and so there just seemed to be a new environment fertile for such things to happen.
The impulse of the world is to act out, but what I'm discovering is that we might just be learning that we need to give God the time needed so that God's presence can be found before we go any further.
Our impulses push us to an immediate response: When someone does us wrong, or we experience something bad in our life, our immediate response is to immediately act out.
Whatever happens, we must put some space between the hostile act directed toward us and our response. We must distance ourselves, take time to think, talk it over with friends, and wait until we are ready to respond in a life-giving way. Impulsive responses allow evil to master us, something we always will regret. But a well thought-through response will help us to "master evil with good" (Romans 12.21).
The one thing that I have learned, is that sometimes people just cannot work it out, and may never find a way to resolve what has happened. It's in those situations where the peace of Christ will simply have to prevail, the situation will have an undetermined outcome, and life will simply go on.
I think that humanity has known that for some time. Perhaps that why we are often reminded to wait upon the Lord?
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, help me to allow distance when I have been harmed. Help me to remember that waiting on You and remaining silence is something that can provide for Your timing to take place. Amen.
(based on Psalm 1)
Blessed is the person who has
A mind of his own,
and does not choose to walk beside his oppressors;
Nor gaze at street people and
But his is the joy of seeing
the underdogs win the close football game,
as the leading scorer drops to his
knees and delights in the Lord’s blessing.
Rejoicing “Praise You Lord for this moment”
after years of practicing both day and night.
Blessed is the woman who plants herself
in a woman’s shelter
from where she may draw strength
and begin her new life,
That will never again wither under
a perpetrators heated tongue,
with new soil she begins to spread new roots,
and reach upward.
Those who do not know you, Lord,
are like bridges that cross dry river beds
that now hold rusty train rails
never again to serve a purpose.
For the Lord is aware of those who
strive to make a difference for His name’s sake,
And will proceed to exhaust
those who only seek themselves.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.