Self-Control, Offense and Forgiveness

There’s a difference between self-control and being walked on…
I know that it can be a very fine line at times. I struggle with that line myself, because sometimes finding that line is hard. Trying to gauge whether you are being a doormat or whether you actually using self-control and being respectful.
I guess it boils down to knowing when to stand up and voice your opinion and knowing when to step back and keep your mouth shut.
Blowing your lid over everything or even over smaller details and getting excessively angry because you refuse to be walked on may only escalate the situation and make it worse. Or choosing to dwell on it and allowing it to define your actions and the way you treat people.
But, I think… I think I’m seeing a little more of the aspect on maintaining self-control. When someone can talk about multiple bad incidents, not use a curse word and not let those past problems make them mad… Or the fact that from there they don’t stereotype and assume that because of a few bad run-in’s with a group of people mean they all must be that way.
The fact that they can get picked on, or in “trouble” and they can leave and be able to brush it off their shoulders…
Honestly, there’s usually a way to handle any situation without being disrespectful, without being rude or getting angry… Yeah, it may frustrate you, even make you fume a bit, but the difference is, do you let it affect your daily life? The way you treat people? Do you let it become an excuse for poor behavior?
I get not allowing people to walk on you, but it goes back to that theory that a calm word quiets a quarrel and a harsh word stirs up wrath… When we become so worried about not allowing ourselves to be walked on, or taken advantage of, there’s a point where we become so guarded, we can manage to find anything that is potentially an issue and making it a massive problem. Especially when it isn’t your own issue but you are taking it as an offense regardless.
We are all guilty of it to some degree or another, and to a degree that’s ok. But it’s what we continue doing with those situations. We’ve all taken a situation that wasn’t our own and gotten offended by it, angry, mad, frustrated, whatever you want to call it. But it’s our choice to continue doing it, and it’s our choice to begin putting an end to it.
I have a client who always tells me that he is a logical thinker and has no emotion because emotions get people into trouble… And honestly, I whole heartedly agree… Obviously, we need emotion, but if we could rule out emotions on certain situations and use logic, quit wearing our hearts on our sleeves and letting past situations affect current feelings, we might find, it would be easier to handle the offense as it comes.
Ted Dekker likes to refer to offense as waves, or troubled waters…
“Take a leap of faith and see that these troubled waters have no power over you unless you give it to them, and even then they lie.”
“The physical power of real love is staggering, because the real forgiveness is staggering.”
“Always remember you have been given the power to forgive any offense, and in so doing, remove it from your awareness as far as the east is from the west. True Vision is his gift, allowing you to see no blame; forgiveness is your truest purpose in the life. Seventy times seven, always leaving the old self in a watery grave and rising to find no fault. That’s grace…”
“I’m here to say that you can’t make the troubled waters of life go away by defending yourself against them. You can only walk over those troubled waters if you offer peace to them and leave the safety of your boat.”
“…It’s not the water that changes. It’s what you make of the water that changes. It’s finding no offense in the water that keeps you safe, because there’s nothing to be kept safe from when you are already safe…”
“Letting go is something you do, not just talk about. Talking about forgiveness changes nothing. Doing it changes everything, not just in you, but somehow in those around you. We are not healed alone.”
“Let go of your right to take offense at all that ever threatened you and all that threatens you still. Release the fear your understanding shows you in this storm. Turn even the other cheek.”
“And why does a man get angry? Because he feels threatened or wronged. And why does he feel threatened? Because he does not believe he is safe. Why? Because he is afraid of God,” (or in my own opinion does not have the knowledge of God,) “and so cannot trust him.”

Anyway, just some thoughts to chew on for this lovely Sunday afternoon…
God Bless,
Jessica

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