Did someone hurt you today, yesterday, years ago? Did someone do something today that made you angry, resentful, sick to your stomach? Did you lose your cool with one of your children…again? Did you lose your cool with your spouse? (again?) Are you bothered by someone in your past who wronged you? Are you finding it nearly impossible to let it go?
Recently, I overheard a woman recounting a situation from her past that had hurt her. I could tell by the way she was nearly spitting out her words, that the pain was still very much with her. She was bitter and angry, and mercy toward the person who had wronged her was far from her mind.
I wondered if she would ever fully heal.
There seem to be a lot of angry, hurting, bitter people walking around these days. Many of them are Christians. They speak of grace and mercy in their own lives, but cannot seem to extend that same grace and mercy to others.
Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. –Romans 12:16
What if we took ourselves out of the equation?
Life is like an equation. Situations arise and what we add to them or take away from them make all the difference in the outcome.
As believers, ideally we should be adding things like lovingkindness, grace, mercy, faithfulness, obedience, and taking away from them a closer relationship with Christ, a deeper understanding of our God, and a stronger love for others.
When we make ourselves a major part of the equation, it is nearly impossible for us to see the true answer…the answer Christ would have us see.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
– Romans 12:9 – 10
The less I consider myself, the more peaceful I am
When my day hands me difficult situations and difficult people, I can walk away unruffled if I remember to take myself out of the equation. I don’t have to get my emotions all tangled up in things, feel personally offended, or plot revenge if I remove myself. I can go in peace because I know the Lord carries me no matter how battered I feel.
Satan thrives on stirring up strife and dissension – especially amongst the Body of believers. It is easy to be offended. It is easy to want to fight back. But it takes practice to live a grace-filled life.
Fill your mind and heart with God’s grace, not only toward yourself, but toward others.
When someone hurts you, look to Christ to heal you.
When someone offends you, don’t get tangled up in the offense.
Remember sin is the root cause.
Remember, love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
This week, take yourself out of the equation. Don’t let that difficult situation consume you. Know that God has this in His hands. You don’t need to handle it. Go in grace. Live in peace. Let love be your life.