Earlier today I had a person speak very rudely to me at work – it was much more jarring than I expected it to be – by that I mean I was surprised by how much their words alone could hurt me. I walked away from that interaction extremely angry, wanting justice for the wrongs that I felt had been done to me.
I’m not the type of person who is particularly graceful at handling moments like these. I wish I could think faster on my feet and come up with the perfect response. But no, I’m that person who replays the event over and over in their head, crafting what would have been an ideal response in varying scenarios. I wish I didn’t get so flustered by my emotions. I tend to feel emotions hard and fast, and all I could think to say at the moment it was happening were things that I knew I shouldn’t. So instead, I didn’t say a lot, I just fumed inside.
As I reflected on the event, I remembered that Jesus went through countless encounters of people being rude to him, hating him, and obviously going so far as to eventually crucify him. How many times did Jesus desire “justice” for himself? How many times did emotions like anger overwhelm him? How many times could he have said, “Do you know who you’re talking to? God in the flesh!” Jesus could have used his power and status to put others in their place if he wanted to.
But he didn’t. He made himself lower. He prayed for his enemies. He forgave. He loved.
I pray for a Spirit like Jesus’ – I pray to be able to easily let go of my anger and forgive others, even if they are not sorry or repentant. I pray to be able to treat others with love all the time, not just to people who are nice to me. As the Bible says, anyone can love those who love them… that’s nothing special or other-worldly (see Luke 6:32). But to love those who hate you, that is something that I think can only be done with God’s help – truly a supernatural feat.
Unfortunately, this won’t be the last time I interact with someone who is hard to love. But I am called to love anyways. And if I’m honest, sometimes I’m the person who is hard to love. How many times have people overlooked and forgiven my offenses towards them? Probably way more times than I’m aware of.
Words matter. Words are powerful and can make or break someone’s day. I hope to be a person that uses my words to encourage and inspire others.
Thanks for reading!