If only life’s problems could be solved with wood putty.
My husband once built me a small table. I asked him to make it quickly since others would rarely see it. He ran screws through the top rather than in some fancier way. “I’ll cover it with wood putty,” he said, which turned out to be sawdust and glue.
When we are hurt, we often want to carefully examine the offense and magnify the problem—not cover it with sawdust and glue. We skip over love, even though the Bible tells us it covers a multitude of offenses. We go straight to being mad and hurt and nursing a grudge. But we can avoid those angry feelings and reactions using three ways.
Examine ourselves emotionally. Are we in a vulnerable, already hurt, state of mind? Are we going through something unrelated to this situation that primes us for being upset? Reflecting on these questions could put the offense in perspective. We may conclude the offense normally wouldn’t have bothered us.
Look at ourselves physically. Are we tired or hungry? We laugh at those Snickers commercials about hunger making us a different person because there’s some truth to it. Consider how Elijah was able to press on after he despaired to God. God provided him with sleep and food. We shouldn’t decide to be angry or scared if we’re not feeling the best.
Review ourselves spiritually. Are we acting out of our flesh, or thinking about how God would have us respond? We can extend the same grace to others that we would want extended to us.
Sure, some big offenses can’t be worked out so simply. But many small, everyday problems—where people meant no offense and probably didn’t even realize they offended us—can. At the very least, these strategies can help us not speak so quickly and help us avoid saying words we will later regret. And most of all, they will show our love and Christ’s love to others.
Which of these ways should you try so you won’t be so easily offended?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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