I am not a perfect wife, mom, daughter, sister, or friend. When someone I care deeply for is being attacked verbally my “mother bear claws” seem to come out. I want to react in a defensive manner and protect the one I love. Is that how Jesus wants us to react though?
I recently had an opportunity to be tested in this area.
Thank goodness I was not there in the minute, but as my loved one called me on the phone not able to speak through the hurt, I had some decisions to make. Do I call the other person and let them have it? Do I charge in and give aid to my loved one and join in the verbal assault on the other person? Instead I went to my knees and asked God to show me how to respond. Here are a few thoughts that helped me and I hope will help you:
*Get the details before you get worked up.
*Remember there are two sides to every story.
*Assume best intent. (It is easy to jump to the conclusion that someone is out to hurt, but could it be that they thought they were helping? Was something misunderstood?)
*Choose to forgive anyway. Forgiveness is not saying what you did is okay; it is saying I choose not to take revenge or get even. Leave that to God.
*Encourage your loved one to seek reconciliation with a fellow believer.
*Know the relationship will change with the one who offended, but you can still be polite.
This is a process and will take time to work through when someone you love is verbally attacked, but if we are to stay right with God and for the good of the Kingdom we must be at peace with our brothers and sisters.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 18-21