I have been personally challenged in a great number of ways lately with disappointments from people coming through multiple life challenges. My nature in the past has been to respond quickly, sometimes even harshly, motivated by my own feelings for personal justice.
At times, we certainly do need to speak up and at other times we need not. We have to be led by the Holy Spirit to choose our responses in difficult matters.
In confronting yet another disappointment this evening rather than my using angry, self-justified words, I responded differently. This decision came at my wife’s encouragement. In taking her advice, I died to my flesh without expounding to the person how I had been unfairly treated. Believe me, I do not always get it right. I certainly battle with my flesh but at least tonight experienced victory.
After making a civil response rather than a grousing one, the Holy Spirit reminded me that if one does not pursue peace with others, how can he/she even have personal peace. This new revelation came by my nailing self justification to the cross and dying to it. Hurt doesn’t immediately leave in death to self, but Christ’s presence powerfully comforts us through our ongoing afflictions.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness without which no one will see the LORD.” Hebrews 12:14