Her words clipped my heart. They stung my ears and punched me in the stomach.
They seemed to come from nowhere, and I wasn’t expecting them.
I have it within me to fight when I’m attacked, and here, I wanted to lash back. Welling up were my emotions, and followed was the desire to lay into her with words just as ugly. I didn’t deserve the ones thrown at me. I didn’t do anything wrong. She needed to know that, and I needed to set her straight.
Or at least that was my knee-jerk reaction.
Because that’s what I’ve always done.
I set people straight when they were wrong as if it was my job. Especially if what they were wrong about was me or my intentions or my actions.
I’m pretty good at doing what my daddy taught me… to stand up for myself. And I guess I have a big part of him in me still today… that part that doesn’t let people talk to me in this kind of way, or treat me with disrespect.
Everything in me said fight back.
I was cued up and ready. I had the floor, and the perfect opening in the conversation. In just a matter of time, my intentions would be made clear and I would show her how wrong she was.
Nine words stopped me.
Treat her as you want her to treat you.
They came flooding my heart at the worst possible time… just before my emotions left my mouth.
Again, the words pounded, this time in my head. Treat others as you want them to treat you.
I wanted to cock my head to the side, lift my eyes and my arms to God and yell, “Seriously??” But, deep down I knew these nine words were truth. I knew He was right. It was clear who was about to be in the wrong. Me.
Nine words. Nine little words of truth stopped me in my tracks. As if flipping a switch in my brain, these nine words forced me to change what would come out of my mouth next. I searched for ones to replace the words I was ready to spew. The only ones that came to me were,
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry to have hurt you.”
Those were the ones she needed to hear. She was hurt, and somehow my actions made the already deep wound within her bleed even more. I couldn’t see it, but God could. The words He gave me were the ones to bring healing and hope to His precious child in front of me.
I wonder how many times I made matters worse by not listening to that still, small voice. I’ve made a mess of many situations doing what I thought was right and justified. I realized here, sometimes what’s more important is being sensitive to another, and not fixing to set the record straight for my sake.
Maybe you can relate. Is that still, small voice speaking to your heart today? Is there a relationship in your life that would benefit from treating him or her as you want to be treated?
We can’t see the wounds buried inside others, but God can.
Let’s allow Him to lead us today. Lifting us all in prayer, as we continue to walk with Jesus.
It’s a joy to link this post with Suzie Eller and friends for #livefreeThursday.
Photo credit: Zach Lefebure