This morning I’ve considered my post on opinion and judgment, and while I stand by it, I made a statement that I think needs clarification.
I said when others’ opinions turn to personal offense on my part, it is often because I have a hurt that needs a touch by the Lord. I do not think that hurt has to be some deep wound from childhood or any other time in life. Sometimes the hurt is simply from the day. It could have been that my husband hurt my feelings or my children decided they did not need to be respectful and honoring. It could be something as inane as a cashier’s attitude at the store that spilled over onto me.
My response to others typically is far more about the other people and situations or events in my life than it is the actual person. I’ll explain what I mean.
Email has no tone. They are simple words. There is no intonation, no body language. How I translate emails and electronic posts is based on my personal mental and emotional filters. I have been at a point where I took everything as rejection and criticism. Thankfully, I’m not there anymore. However, I still go through time spans in which I do, and it really has nothing to do with the post or email. I know this because I have taken some folks jokes (with smiles attached) and turned them into barbs that were most assuredly aimed at me. In my lucid moments, I know those people’s hearts. I know they are not vindictive, and I know their comments weren’t aimed at any person in particular. However, my emotional and mental state is not always lucid, and it isn’t about the person or even their comment. It really has to do with what I am dealing with personally. If I’ve had a rough day with my writing critique group, I’m more likely to take things as rejection. If I’ve had a day where folks let me in the lane of traffic I needed or people at the store were nice, I’m more likely to have grace.
On bad days, I do need a healing touch from the Lord. I need to be alone with Him for Him to speak truth and love or correction so I can repent and make peace. I need to just be still, resettle, and get perspective. I also need to leave all emails and posts that evoke negative reaction until later. I have NEVER regretted not responding with anger or sarcasm.
On the flip side of this is the reality that sometimes folks react to my emails or posts with claws out and teeth bared, and it isn’t about me. Sometimes they’ve had a bad day. Sometimes their husbands hurt their feelings or their children didn’t honor them. Sometimes they have bad cashiers, too. While my first reaction may be (and too often is) to jump back at them, I have found if I take time to pray about it, the Lord will soften my heart and remind me to see their heart, not their actions. Maybe I don’t have any prophetic insight into their lives, but I have grace to respond with a heart of reconciliation and restoration. I have seen many people do this very thing, and when they do, they are the touch from God that offers healing. And that is a tone that translates well no matter what the day has been like.