We live in a day and age where people are quick to speak and slow to listen; quick to speak their minds and grimace at holding their tongues. Everything popular, however, is not wisdom. Unfortunately, today’s culture deifies brash, hasty and unbridled behaviors and equates humility and discretion to “door mat-ism.”
But the Word of God provides great nuggets of wisdom and instruction for those who would be “godly successful” and experience victorious living. Each day we must discern the difference between “battles” and “wars.” We must ask ourselves, “What is my end goal? Is engaging in this match of wits, argument, or responding to this ignorant remark worth my time, energy or reputation?” At other times we may encounter individuals who for whatever reason are difficult to work with. While we try to avoid such encounters, working with difficult individuals at some point in our journey is inevitable.
If we are not careful, the negative, indifferent and toxic behaviors of others can prompt us to “react” and not “respond.” When we react, we allow others to press our proverbial buttons and drag us into battles. But when we respond, by the grace of God through prayer, faith and self-control, we choose whether or not to engage. Allowing ourselves to be pulled into battles can derail our efforts to do, develop, pursue and create that which is beautiful and beneficial to many.
The writer of Proverbs said it well,
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11, English Standard Version
What does that mean? Sometimes it means swallowing your pride. Sometimes it means letting it go. Sometimes it means quieting your spirit and pressing forward even though that which is happening to you is not fair or right. If it is not life altering, dream crippling or detrimental on any scale, it is a battle – not a war. Don’t allow the foolishness of others to thwart the larger goal given to you by God. Take a deep breath, relax and remember what you are trying to accomplish!
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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,