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Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

When I Want to Be Mean - Encouragement for Today - April 16, 2015

Lysa TerKeurst

APRIL 16, 2015

When I Want to Be Mean
LYSA TERKEURST

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

I looked at the text message in complete disbelief. Why couldn’t this person see how insensitive and hurtful she was being?

I don’t know who made up the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Either they had nerves of steel, or they lived on a deserted island with no other people. Because not only do words hurt me but they make me want to fight back and be mean, too.

Have you ever had a little situation with someone where you just knew you were right and they were wrong? Or at least you could make a really good case for your side of things?

Oh how I have this burning need to state my case in these kinds of situations. It’s like an inner attorney rises up desperate to defend my rights and get the other person to see things my way. This is pretty normal, right?

Yes. But normal doesn’t always mean good. Especially in light of today’s key verse.

Colossians 2:6-7 reminds me, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

I should live rooted in Jesus’ teaching and overflow with thankfulness. The opposite of this is when I’m rooted in self-centered opinions and overflowing with grumbling. I need to let God show me how to see things from this other person’s side and gain a different perspective. In doing so, I will be strengthened and taught.

Colossians 3:12-14 reminds me, "… as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (NIV).

My job isn’t to fix this person or make them see my side of things. My job is to obey God by offering an extension of the forgiveness I’ve been given. But I can also stay healthy in this situation by remembering forgiveness doesn’t mean giving this person access in my life that sets me up for destructive patterns.

Finally, Colossians 3:17 reminds me, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (NIV).

Everything I do and say tells a story of whom I serve. If I act out of anger and spite, I give in to the ways of the enemy, spreading his darkness. If I honor the Lord with my actions, I serve to further the Name of Jesus and spread His light.

At the end of the day, honoring God leads to good things. Anything else leads to confusion, emotional exhaustion and a lack of good things.

I processed the text message mentioned above with my husband. He said something that brought much clarity. "Lysa, you know when you’ve taken the high road, God blesses you. You’ve seen these blessings over and over as you’ve made choices that honor God. So choose a blessing today and save yourself the emotional turmoil of trying to prove you’re right."

He’s a smart man.

I know this isn’t easy stuff. I’m having to live it in the midst of feeling hurt. But I’m also feeling more at peace being able to see another perspective — a healthier perspective — a Biblical perspective. And I’m really excited about the blessings that are surely coming my way.

Dear Lord, You know the hurtful words and actions that have come my way. Please give me Your strength to not retaliate, but instead to react based on Your Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
James 1:19-20, "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires." (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Learning to control our reactions can be difficult! In Lysa’s book, Unglued, she shares personal experience and Scriptural wisdom to help us make healthy decisions with our reactions. Order your copy today.

The accompanying Unglued Bible study package will help you understand what the Bible says about better ways to react. Get started here.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are you struggling with a person who sometimes acts rude or insensitive? Choose one of the truths Lysa mentioned today to pray and live out.

At the end of the day, honoring God leads to good things. Anything else leads to confusion, emotional exhaustion and a lack of good things.

© 2015 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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