Seven Sacrifices to Joy

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartHappy day, Coffee Hour Friend! Thanks for joining me today for more of Seven Sacrifices to Joy! Grab your coffee and your Red Strand of Faith and let’s go back about 2000 years to Jesus and His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, and then we’ll do a fast-forward to apply His words to our lives.

Matthew 5:39 He says: “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”

Now let me share another life-lived experience that brought this scripture dancing to life within me!

As I got out of my car, armed with prayer for this conflict resolution meeting, I was confident that He was with me and would speak through me, after I kept my mouth shut and listened. Yes, that was the plan; to sit and listen as He had been teaching me to do so I could teach others, but I had never engaged in such a listening exercise; only read and taught about it. I greeted her with a hug, as if there were no problems to resolve, and I remember genuinely feeling the love which I offered. We got our drinks and went outside and sat down. I began the conversation by asking her permission to take notes, confessing this would help me to keep my mouth shut and truly listen to her. And then I shared that I wanted to show her more respect.

If eyeballs could pop out, hers would have and here’s why I say that: everything leading up to this conversation was problematic, putting it mildly, and I just don’t think she was prepared for me to show her kindness and respect. Trust me; it was Him in me, every bit of it, for when I am a vessel full of myself, nothing good happens, but when I got out of my car that day, I left pride in the passenger’s seat, assuring it I’d be back for it afterwards!

I don’t need to glorify the enemy and I won’t by repeating our conversation. However, and this is a big however, because I kept my mouth shut and my ears opened as she spewed out her hurtful comments and opinions, I was able to detect that much of her present was mixed with painful moments in her past of which she wasn’t even aware! She was/is so focused on others’ behavior that she was totally unaware of her own, and I don’t say that to be demeaning. Quite the contrary because it shed light and gave me compassion. It was as though there was this invisible connect-the-dots picture and each comment laced with hurt and anger equipped me to visibly connect the dots internally. It was this incredibly out-of-body experience where He equipped me to listen, and because I really listened, I was able to validate all of her misperceptions! It was the most freeing hour of my life!

Now let’s return to the words spoken by Jesus Himself in Matthew 5. I wouldn’t call this person who had been keeping this silent scorecard of wrongs evil, although her words and opinions felt evil. But maybe, just maybe there’s something to this verse that applies to these types of in-the-heat-of-the-moment situations. At least this verse is speaking to me ever so loudly in a soft kind of way. See, as I sat there and truly listened to this person spewing all of her misperceptions about situations we had been involved in, I listened, one insult after another … turning one cheek, then the other, and then turning back and repeating the cycle. This went on for over an hour and I have to tell you, because I chose to turn the other cheek, in other words, keep my mouth shut and truly listen, I was able to pick up some very enlightening information and understand why/how she had connected the dots the way she did.

Guess what? Her venom and bitterness really had nothing to do with me – she thinks it did and that’s okay — but had I not turned the cheek … over and over again, I wouldn’t have recognized that powerful truth and my anger would have erupted and spoiled the victory!

Could it be that actively listening was accounted as an act of righteousness for me that day? Oh, please know that I take no credit for anything but showing up and shutting up … Oh, to continue seeking to offer a sacrifice of righteousness!

Please join us tomorrow for our Faith Filled Fridays with Debbie Croley!

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