Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Watch it! I Know Karate!

I've been dismayed lately with the number of teenagers and young adults who choose to fight with their friends on facebook.  Every bit of anger and self-defense they have, they put out there for the world to read.  Or they make snide remarks about others, knowing that it will get back to them in one form or another.

But the really sad thing is that adults do it too.  I've seen grown women and men with children of their own, posting on facebook and acting like they are still in junior high.  It's ridiculous!  I want to warn them to wake up and start thinking before they post.

Yet, as I thought about this I realized that, in my own way, I can do that too.  I may not put it all over facebook, but whenever I try to subtly get people to take my side, I'm in that self-defense mode.  When I share something unkind that someone else said about me, in the hopes to get sympathy from other friends, I'm doing that.  When I plant a seed of negativity about another person to make myself look better, I'm doing it.  Whenever, I try to take matters in my own hands I'm guilty of flexing my muscles and falling into the self-defense area.

I don't want anyone to think I have it all together.  I fail quite often in this area.  I struggle with wanting approval and it's probably harder because we are in full-time ministry.  The pastor and his wife are targets for criticism.  People want things done their way and when things don't go the way they want, they complain.  When that happens, it hurts and I want to rush to the defense of my husband or myself.

But I'm learning to let God be my defender.  He knows my heart and my motives.  He knows what my intent was.  The only one I need to worry about is the Lord and what He thinks of me.  And yes, that is hard to do.  Our normal tendency is to defend ourselves and to let others know exactly what we think.

Yet, I'm so thankful for those times that I have spent wrestling in prayer about my response to various situations and people. I'm thankful for the feeling of peace I get when I let it go and put it in God's hands. I feel His peace when I don't have to spend useless time and energy trying to defend myself or explain myself.  When I open up my hands and give it to God, I can breathe a sigh of relief about the situation, knowing He is in control.

I'm praying that I can continue to grow in this area of my life.  I'm praying that my young and not so young friends learn this lesson too.  Instead of letting others know just how tough you can be, give it to God and let Him be your defender.  

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