Sometimes I struggle to be quiet when confronted. When someone corners you, what do you do? Do you cower? Or do you come out swinging?
I get knots in my stomach. I can feel the tight, tight tension, just below my ribs, like I have been doing crunches, just without the exercise benefits. As a side note, wouldn’t it be great if confrontation counted against the calorie count? 😉
And, even as I write this, I am convicted. I know the reason I want to come out swinging (verbally)…Pride. Pride elevates us over others. Submission takes us lower.
At one point I would have said that experience is what taught me that some people just won’t respect boundaries, unless you push back when they push. There are people I know who court controversy. What experience tells me is that, if you have to push back, for someone to stop pushing you, you are not drawing a boundary line that will be respected.
If you have to push back in order to get breathing room,
the other person is probably just gearing up for another run.
People that must be “taught” boundaries don’t “learn” to respect them from you, they just regroup and come at you from another angle. This is a fallen world we are dealing with, and we are all fallen people. The Lord’s way is different.
Relationship battles aren’t won by strategy. They’re won by surrender. I must admit this: just because I know it to be true doesn’t mean I know how to live this way…but knowing it to be true is real progress, because recognizing truth is discernment. Discernment is the first stop on the road to holiness.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more,
with knowledge and all discernment,
so that you may approve what is excellent,
and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ
(Phil 1:9-10, ESV).
Relationship battles are won by surrender because our most difficult opponent is self. Self rises up, but we must go lower. We must surrender our will to the Lord’s. It is only when we humble ourselves, being willing to take the lowest seat at the table, that the Lord will raise us up.
Truth: We cannot raise ourselves up against others who want to put us down…there is no victory to be found in oneupmanship. But, when we are willing to be humble, like He was, we sit with the Lord on High.
So I know that one day, being quiet in the face of criticism and injustice will become more natural. When I can keep an eternal perspective and remember that being right with the Lord is more important than being right in a disagreement, then I will be able to let go of the arguments and the pettiness that exist in marriage, parenting, and friendships.
If you can relate, I would love to hear from you! Please pray for me to as I continue to desire two opposing ideas: (1) being right (2) being right with God. Sometimes it is hard to let go of the “being right” trophy in order to go lower, be quiet, and humble myself, which is the real prize. It feels wrong, but it isn’t. How about you? How do you respond to confrontation?
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