I’m sure you know the scenario. Someone says or does something and your feelings get hurt. You might try to clear things up (or you might not) and it doesn’t go well. Perhaps you are too hurt to take the high road and let it go. Perhaps this has happened before. Perhaps this was just one more thing on top of a pile of junk happening today.
How we respond to temptations reflects our relationship to God.
We are now at a crossroads. We have a choice before us. Many years ago, a friend was sharing her testimony of her salvation. She wasn’t really hearing the words of the person sharing with her because she was having her own conversation with God. She saw before her a crossroad. One was dark and ugly, the other had the cross and Jesus. She felt as if Jesus were telling her she either had to choose to die, just as He did, or to choose the other unknown and dangerous looking path. She said she threw her arms around Jesus.
This is what happens to us every single day. With every choice before us in our lives, we choose to walk in the Spirit or to feed the flesh. To walk in victory or to let our sinful desires rule us. The closer we walk with the Lord, the easier it is to throw off the shackles of the fleshly temptation and choose Jesus. Walking in the Spirit is contrary to walking in the flesh.
But, you say, our emotional response is neither good nor bad. It just IS. Well, sister, you are right. The question for us is what are we going to with that emotion?
Just so you know that I am no spiritual giant, I had just such a temptation this past week and I allowed myself to wallow in hurt and self-pity. Someone had said something to me that hurt. They were hurting themselves about something else and really had no idea how I took what they said. I tried to work it out but it was bad timing. And I walked away and held on to my hurt.
Later someone else was hurting and in their pain said something that stung me. It was not intended, and it wasn’t really what they meant. But this time, I shut down. Now, I am not a crier, but I ended up closing myself away and crying in the tub. And then in bed. And then in the kitchen. Yep, me and my tears made the rounds of the house!
The one place I didn’t take them was to Jesus.
Again, DUMB IDEA!!
Now, I had these perceived hurts and I was running from God. I was feeding the flesh and reminding myself that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That I was entitled to feeling hurt. Uh oh! That word entitled is always a dangerous word for believers!
Well, I got a little spiritual spanking as the Lord turned my face to His and I saw the ugliness of my heart and the folly of my thinking. I confessed to those that I was snippy with in my hurt and spent time together with them in prayer. Giving in to the temptation to feed the flesh did me no good. It does no one any good.
- it brings division in relationships
- it robs us of joy
- it turns our hearts from God
- it is a lie about our very nature
Feeding our flesh is a luxury we cannot afford!
I spent 60 minutes of my life wallowing in hurt when God wanted me to walk in joy. I can’t get those minutes back, but I can choose to walk forward in redemption, thanksgiving and praise! Redemption for my sinful thoughts, thanksgiving that I’ve been forgiven and praise that God has better and richer things for me ahead.
It is easy to think that wallowing (because that’s really what it is, and it was painful to recognize that) is really OK. When I wallow I’m setting my attention to the lies of the enemy. Jesus could have wallowed on the cross. But He didn’t – He chose to bring another man into the Kingdom. Paul could have wallowed in prison. But he didn’t – he chose to use it as a tool for the gospel.
How about you? What is going on in your life? Are your choices reflecting a depth of grace and joy that supersedes emotional hurts that come up in your life?
Please know I am NOT saying it’s sinful to feel hurt. I’m not. Some hurts cause great harm to us, damage us deeply and we need to find real and complete healing. Real healing is only found in Jesus, the One who can understand what is in our hearts. Are we taking that hurt to Him? He also calls us to bigger things. He calls us to respond as He did and love as He does.
That’s a tall order and I fall short more often than I care to admit, even to myself. But it is also the place where I LONG to be! And this week, when I let go of my wallowing, I took a step forward in my transformation. How about you?
Here is my plan for my supper meals this coming week in my Menu Planning Monday. Please feel free to download my FREE, fully editable, Month at a Glance menu planner, my Weekly Menu Planner and my new Snacks planner.
My suppers for the coming week:
Monday: Bangin’ Ranch Drums with chicken tenders instead & salad (S)
Tuesday: Lazy Lasagna leftovers (S)
Wednesday: Dirt-E rice with pulled chicken instead of turkey (E)
Thursday: grilled tillapia w/sauteed green & yellow beans (FP)
Friday: pizza on Joseph’s pita bread (S)
Saturday: egg white, pepper & onion omlette with sauteed sweet potatoes (E)
Sunday: chocolate monkey crepes w/berries (E)