The world teaches to let insult and injury go – to just not think about it. The Christians say the same thing! This shocks me. This is not what scripture teaches.
“Friendship with the world is enmity with God.”
God’s way is the way of substitution. He made us, he created us and he knows that we are a vessel and if we choose to not THINK about a thing (this is like an ostrich putting its head in the ground) does not mean it is not there. The thing is still there. God will not say to you “let it go” he will say to you “give it away!”
Or to put it in maybe a more understandable way he says “clean it up!” When they injure you or insult you they have just vomited on you. If you apply the “just let it go” it would be to then walk around with vomit on your shirt. Just let it go sounds good but practically it is advice to ignore it. Would you ignore vomit on your shirt? Or would you clean it up?
I have seen people over and over THINK that they had let it go only to discover something in them when a crisis would come.
God gives us two ways to give it away and or to clean it up. We can give the shirt to him to clean and deal with or we can give the shirt to the offender to deal with. He prefers that whenever possible we give the shirt to the person so that they learn to clean up messes and thus are motivated to learn to stop making messes (in this way we are being his body [hands and feet]). When this is not possible he will take the shirt from us and deal with. His way is the way of substitution we are vessels and need to be filled.
Giving it to God could be a rude driver or a stranger, we simply tell God that we don’t know what is motivating this man please deal with it and or tell us how to deal with it.
To others we need to not return evil for evil, to not return reviling for reviling (insult). If someone says you’re a pathetic idiot, you can simply say “that is not a friendly thing to say” and thus you have given it back to them (away).
Jesus told us to turn the other cheek and most think that means to endure insult and injury. Its best to see someone DO what they were saying to help us understand what was meant. Jesus was hit in the cheek and he did not hit the man back and he did not ignore the injury and he did not offer the other side of his face. NO! He exhorted the man. “If I did something wrong talk to me about it, but hitting me is never right for you to do?” He took the “vomit” and handed it back to the man to deal with!
It is often the little paper cuts that gets to us:
In situations of marriage, roommates, and friends they do little things that bother us. Like not doing their part of an agreement. Lets say leaving food out and it rots. We may think we are being mature and following the advice of letting it go and so we put the food away. We may even never explode over this. But this is probably because we are not willing to lose them as a friend, roommate or spouse. Not because we ARE mature but because we have a fear that overrules this irritation. But to those who try to just let it go one day they just can’t take it anymore and they end up telling the person in a horrible way. Had they given it away right away it would not come out in a bad way.
(they thought it wrong to say something but oddly never thought it wrong to explode over it)
Friend could you do me a favor? Could you put the food away sooner?
Oddly you may find resistance for such a minor reasonable request. Not such a little thing any more when they begin to resist. It may seem to become a fight and then we start to think “oh no I should have just let it go – look at what I have caused” but this judgment of ours is wrong. If you cannot agree you cannot live together. Seems harsh? But it’s reality.
“two cannot walk together if they do not agree”
Why settle for a false peace when you can have a true peace.
I had this with my wife. She would leave the food out as her habit. I would put it away and at times when it felt heavy because it was often I would reason that I am helping her out its no big deal for me to help out (my fear of losing her was overruling). God spoke to me one day that I am not helping her or myself I am enabling. So I asked him what to do. He said to ask her to put the things away and I did. She resisted. Telling me I can help out more why can’t I put them away? Well I am not always home and when you leave the mayonnaise and meat out for hours it rots and we are risking our health. She got very angry and began to accuse me, making it all my fault – making me begin to regret trying to help her, making me regret having obeyed God and even questioning “did I hear God? If so then why is it now a fight? Why would God cause a fight?”
This will be hard for some to hear but it was a fight because this was a selfish habit my wife did not want to give up. She had all kinds of excuses and accusations so that she did not have to put the things away.
So I asked God now what? He told me that I have told her twice to not tell her anymore, that since she does not agree that maybe she is correct and my request is unreasonable to offer to discuss it with her with one of our friends to help me understand my unreasonableness
She refused saying “wont you be embarrassed when they hear what you are doing?” I couldn’t believe this cunning , conning’, manipulation. Me? The truth was she knew she was wrong and did not want to lose or be exposed.
So God now what? He said to separate. How? Love but no fellowship Don’t leave but live in the corner of the roof.
My wife wanted this over with she kept trying to argue with me and God told me that I will lose my calm if I engage. She would not leave me alone pestering and pestering me.
God what do I do? He said leave. Go for a walk, tell her either she agrees to your terms or she agrees to have a friend involved so that you can understand your terms are unreasonable. If she insists on talking each time go for a walk. So I told her and as I went to walk out the door she said “this is extortion!” I was shocked. I am leaving so that I don’t get angry so that I don’t sin in anger, I am doing this as a sacrifice to love her and I am now told by her that it is evil – a great evil!
So I left and before I closed the door she said “ok I will not bring it up” and so I walked back in . A bit latter I said “didn’t you want to go shopping?” So we went and as we drove I discussed the shopping list and I could see perplexion on her face that I do not hold a grudge (a grudge justifies/excuses them) and so she broke down and admitted that she had been mean and unreasonable and realizes that I was helping her.
A habit is just like giving up a drug. There is withdrawal. An ideal that needs to be given up too is just like dealing with a drug addiction. Especially someone who is not use to giving up their own selfish way (taking up their cross).
Father then told me “confess your sins one to anther so that you may be healed” so I told my wife that I accept her confession but I need an action to prove her words. I need her to call that friend and tell them what you put me through and to ask them to pray for you. I could see terror and horror in her face. I told her this seems hard to do but you will be so glad you did and the friend will be overjoyed that you did as well, that until you do we are still separated. She did and she can tell you what a joy it was to have done so. And since this one time we have never in the last four years ever had such a fight.
Give it away and clean it up mean to deal with it. Help them deal with it. And yes even over such a seemingly petty thing you need to be willing to lose them for this lays a foundation for later important crisis matters.
Due to this we are closer and more open and honest with each other we help each other crucify our flesh daily.
Are you a disciple of Jesus? Do you think this is petty? Your teacher said “If you are unfaithful in the few (petty) you WILL BE unfaithful in the many.” Let us lean not on our own understand but on HIS. This will lay a foundation for you to deal with the big issues. Dealing with the few in people will prevent the many in those people. A fireman knows he needs to have the same zeal for a spark that he needs for the forest fire.
Never let it go. Give it away – clean it up!
The worlds advice is innocent, but it lacks wisdom and knowledge.
“better to live on the corner of a roof than in the house with a contentious woman”