I posted yesterday about the hard work that goes into rooting out bitterness and choosing forgiveness…as well as the scars that hurts and wrongs leave in their wakes.
That is all definitely true…but I wanted to mention something else I learned through both of the situations I alluded to yesterday.
It’s easy to end up in a situation where every hurt I experience is always the fault of someone else. I’ve realized quite recently that there are many times where I allow myself to be hurt over something…that is really not a big deal. It is much too easy to turn something small into something bigger. One thing I try to be aware of are all the small situations that I quickly magnify into some major wrong committed against me. I try to be on guard against situations like this…working on developing a heart that is not easily offended. This is definitely not natural for me; I do not have thick skin at all. But thanks to God working in my life, I know that perceived wrongs are actually my heart too quickly taking offense.
But of course there are times when the issue isn’t my heart being too sensitive. As I mentioned yesterday, I was falsely accused by someone as well as being betrayed (in a sense) by someone I trusted.
In situations like that, it is very easy to see the sin in the other person’s life! But again, Scripture warns us against looking at the sin in another’s life and ignoring the sin in our own lives.
In both of the situations where I was wronged, I looked back on what happened and saw ways that I behaved that exacerbated the situation.
Although the false accusation was untrue, I realized that some of my actions could/should have been different in order to completely avoid the false intentions that I apparently portrayed.
Again, the situation where I was betrayed also involved a “false accusation”. Someone misconstrued the intent of my actions and responded accordingly. This person’s perception could not have been further from the truth!! But looking back on it, I realized I could have been even more on guard to avoid the appearance that led to the false conclusion.
It is important to look back and recognize our own shortcomings…but there are a couple things to note about that.
It may take some time. Our hearts should always be open to God working and showing us where we need to improve. I will be honest however…it took a bit of time before I was able to look back on both events mentioned above and see areas where I should have behaved differently. Time can bring a “safe distance” from the event. It’s hard to look at something objectively when you’re still hurting and your emotions are still heavily involved. But by God’s grace, we should all make the effort to learn from our own past mistakes.
There may not be sin involved on my part. However, I should have behaved differently in order to avoid wrong impressions. Yet, I don’t believe the way that I actually behaved was sinful. In both of those situations, I acted and behaved the way I normally do with no hidden motives. It is only by looking back on both situations that I have learned from both and God has grown my character.
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)
~ Melinda ~