The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger.
It is his glory to overlook an offence.
The opportunity to be offended can be a daily occurrence, unless we learn how to handle them. Amazingly, as we practice positive and healthy reactions to offences, they occur less often.
We cannot do anything about the judgments and reactions of others towards us.
It isn’t actually my business what others think or say about me. I am not responsible or accountable for anything that is said of me by others.
None of us like to be judged ~ BUT ~ there is a big difference between being judged and someone simply making a personal judgement.
We cannot avoid making judgments. We make them every day about what someone says or the actions they take, without even calculating the effect of our judgment. Most of us in that moment decide what we think or feel then carry on with our day and forget the moment immediately.
The danger of becoming judge and jury depends on how we continue to process the conclusions we come to, then become judgmental, by categorising a persons character and motives, based on our presupposed and possibly biased judgments.
For us to know the undiluted incentive and purpose behind another’s words and actions we would have to get inside their head and heart and walk a lifetime in their shoes ~ which is impossible.
All we have to make our own evaluations on an issue, is the filter of our own experiences. It’s at this point that our opinion can become polluted and judgmental. Even when we know a person really well, we only know of them what they want us to know.
There are countless men and women who have suffered terribly throughout their lives, carrying the stigma of historical abuse, domestic violence, mental illness and so much more. And no-one ~ ever ~ knew.
This impacts monumentally on their judgements and reactions toward others.
The colour of the thread of all they endured is woven through their entire lives and throbs within them like a contorted tendon that no one can see or comprehend. The fact that they have sustained life at all is admirable.
If we fail to understand that we can never know a person completely, with all their unique complexities and and entanglements, we will make misunderstood judgements and hold undeserved prejudices, predictions and presumptions, which in some issues say more about us than the person we judge.
In many cases it is crucial to make a judgement on how a person presents at face value. When looking for a childminder to care for our children or a carer for an elderly relative, to name just two critical situations. Though this is not the subject of this blog, i feel i should qualify.
It is the “sometimes i just cannot help it” kind of judgements we all fall into ~ Our humanity is easily aroused. I have heard them, concurred with them and even worse ~ yes i admit pronounced them myself.
~ It is what we do with judgements that may not be ok.
Words and actions don’t automatically reflect what is in our heart. We learn to compensate for our painful reality.
Just as we would if we had a limping leg, we use our healthy leg more.
Emotionally most of us present ourselves as healthy and keep our limp hidden, for no one to see.
Sometimes, not always, there are three truths when words are spoken and deeds are actioned.
What was actually said and done.
The perceptions that motivated what was said and done.
Our personal perception of what we heard and saw.
Why? Because my thread is a different colour to your thread, you cannot see my thread, i cannot see your thread. The knots, twists and turns and frayed edges of my thread are in a different place to yours.
We don’t even know ourselves entirely, because the needle and thread begins its masterpiece in our infancy, even before we are born.
My husband and i were in someones else car many years ago. I saw a condom in the door pocket. The car belonged to a married man.
Due to the effect that my husbands behaviour had impacted on me, i immediately suspected the car owner was being unfaithful to his wife. It was more than probable that there was a moral explanation, but my default was set to suspect an immoral conclusion.
i don’t speak as though i am on trial for my words, I just speak. We are all on trial ~ but not to each other, generally.
One day, every one of us will be called to give an account of every glib word we have spoken and every action we have taken.
But I tell you, on the day of judgment people will have to give an account for every careless or useless word they speak. Matthew 12:36 Amplified Bible
Once words are out of our mouth they are no longer ours.
They will be interpreted and judged in many different ways by our listeners.
When our torments are combined with other people torments, we may find empathy, warmth and mutual appreciation, even when the scars that nag and pull relentlessly are not mentioned.
This is recognised as friendship
When they combine with some others, they may collide with a combustion of anxiety, confusion and inward strife.
A personality clash, this is called.
There have been many comments over the years that might have offended me or negatively nested in me. Their motive may have been completely pure and loving with my best interest and well being at heart. Or their reaction may have spilled over from the pain and disappointment they are carrying from personal life experiences.
I don’t think many people wake up in the morning and decide they want to offend someone today.
This is why is it important to manage possible offence healthily.
We can decide… Are we Teflon coated? To protect our hearts, emotions and mind. So that the residue of last nights offence will simply wash of us. Or are we coated with Velcro? so all the offences will build up then eventually even what is kind and pure will become contaminated by all those layers of burned on flecks and stains of previous vocal and physical exploitations.
This will leave us feeling threatened, defensive and insecure with a greater potential to carry more offences.
Recently I have become aware of some Velcro coating and I have residue.
I need to be ruthless with the soap and water and scourer.
Maybe like me, you too need to soak for a while.
Are you unsure? We don’t notice the stains from the build up of offences on ourselves. We see it on others but may not notice the gradual build up on our own lives. Ask yourself some questions on the subject and be willing to listen to your consience.
On the subject of threads weaving through our lives, there is another thread that began before we were born. Printed on a our spiritual DNA
it began in everyone who ever they are or were.
It goes like this…
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32
Love, Your Dad.