You know me. Lots of thoughts. Woke up this morning with this on my mind.
Everyone will eventually fail me. I can cut everyone out of my life. Or I can communicate my expectations and set appropriate boundaries with the same measure of grace that I want poured back on me.
I don’t have to tolerate behaviors that I find unacceptable. But what hill do I want to die on? Which battle is worth the end of our relationship? How often do I focus and nurse a hurt into a bitter cancer that destroys?
I’ve been practicing a new thing where I communicate more when I don’t like what someone says or does towards me. There have been some expected exceptions but so far when I have questioned people, most of the time they didn’t have any desire to hurt me and they didn’t even know I was hurt. They said or did certain things in ignorance as to how I received it. I was able to see their heart for me and see my heart for them. I am becoming more able to give grace, forgive, and move on.
Recently the idea came to me to think of five things I like about someone when I am tempted to focus and nurse one of those non-deal breaker offenses in my mind. As I start to think of the five things I like about them, I am reminded of their heart for me. I can usually put their ignorant comment or action in perspective and squash the bitterness before it becomes a full blown cancer.
I also have started a new thing for me where when I am tempted to focus on an offense in my mind, even if it is a deal breaker offense, I use it as a reminder to pray for that person. Not pray that God would send a fireball to destroy them. But pray for their good. Maybe that they would see their offense and repent. But I also pray blessings on them such as that they would be strengthened if they are weak.
And I pray for my heart toward them. Even if they have crossed me to the point where they have lost my trust and need to earn it back, I can still pray for God to show me how to love them from a distance. So my heart is right should they ever want to make peace with me.
Hurt people hurt people. I don’t want to nurse an offense to the point where I become the bitter person who uses hurts as an excuse to hurt others.
I’ve also been learning to stop ruminating about how someone has failed me and instead focus on where I am failing in my own life. I may be doing the same offense. Or I have plenty of other areas where I am at fault.
Sometimes I think as a woman especially, I have been taught by example to nurse someone else’s offense to the point where I portray myself as a martyr with a mentality that I am a completely innocent victim all of the time. But that’s not true. I need to switch my focus on identifying and correcting my own faults and put the other person in God’s hands. Trusting He will do what is best for them. He can correct and judge them much better than I can.
That doesn’t mean I have to ignore or tolerate someone else’s bad behavior. But I deal with it appropriately and then move on to correcting my own faults. Instead of trying to use their behavior as an excuse for not taking responsibility for my own life and actions.