From: Margi–Christian, wife, mom, attorney, professor, married to a pastor
To: The Gals in My Church
Re: Being a Jerk
I was hurt, wounded. I had a right to be hurt. I might even have been justified in some people’s minds in being a jerk.
I pondered my response to the situation. What should I do? How should I act? Was this an offense that I should confront? Wasn’t I justified? I felt I was.
A couple of weeks ago something happened to me that gave me two choices. One, I could be a jerk. Or two, I could rise above my own pettiness and self pity and act like a mature, wise, loving, Christian woman.
Hmmm, What path to take? Upon initial consideration one seemed so much more satisfying. Yeah, let this person have it. They deserve it. I’m in the right here. I could really make a point. This person really needs to know that this is unacceptable.
Thankfully, I had lots of time to reflect upon what course of action I would take. I prayed. Can you imagine? I actually stopped and prayed before deciding what to do. Revolutionary.
I then starting thinking. Did this person mean to hurt me? (No.) Did this person on other occasions show great concern and love for me? (Yes.) Did this person have ill intent in mind? (No.) Was I blowing this out of proportion? (Probably.)
I think as women we can be very quick to jump to the defense of our families and ourselves. We are nuturing, protective and sensitive. I have seen too many women get into squabbles and fights over really the silliest of things. And these are Christian women.
I have one friend in particular, who is not a saved. She is very spiritual, in her own way, and truly one of the most loyal, loving, generous, non-judgmental people I have ever met. She is baffled and turned off by so many of the Christians she has met because of their seeming hypocrisy and failure to live a life that exemplifies Christ.
When I consider the great offense my life has been to a holy God, being reconciled to Him only through His Son, Jesus, I stand humbled and willing to forgive others.
After praying and laying my hurt, anger and need for vengeance at the feet of Jesus, I realized that I had the power of choice. I could either confront this person. Give this person attitude and a dressing down. Or, I could be loving and kind and forgiving, even where no forgiveness was asked.
I knew the answer, though my heart didn’t fully accept it at first. Forgive and love. I chose to be kind, loving and forgiving.
What choices are you making? Are you going to say you’re a Christian and then act however you want because you are in the right? Or are you going to take stock of who the Lord wants you to grow up to be and act accordingly.
Stop being a jerk. That includes being a jerk to strangers, relatives, friends, children, spouses. The next time something comes up and you have a choice as to whether to be a jerk or not, decide the right way before you act. It’s powerful stuff not letting pettiness take control of you. Try it. You’ll be amazed.
I bet you’re dying to know what the story was. That’s the whole point. I’m not going to tell ANYONE. I gave it to the Lord and there it stays.
“You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13, NLT.