Wednesday, September 3, 2008

People Who Are Mean

A good friend of mine the other day relayed to me how hurt they were by some comments someone had made to them. They were not made out of the goodness of this others persons heart, not these comments were meant to wound, to hurt my friend. How do you react to people who are rude or mean? Being mean can be defined as:Offensive, selfish, unaccommodating, unwelcoming, unkind, hurtful. On more than one occasion I have been confronted by someone with great anger and meanness. They challenge everything they can, and even speak poorly of some of my pastoral gifts, the way I look or the way I dress. Don't get me wrong, this is very rare. But when it happens, I always feel knocked back on my heels. It's like I can't get my footing and I feel like I am being pushed. A response if often called for in the immediate, the now. In younger days, a quick and biting tongue would suffice, but I have learned that it not the best way to handle people who act in a way that is unkind. Taking the high road is usually the best path, but in not answering critics, are we no allowing those who have spoken poorly of us to go unanswered? Did you ever get bullied as a kid? Some boy or girl give you a really hard time and make you look stupid in front of others? We have all been in that situation where others are laughing AT us, and not with us. Why do the peddlers of nastiness and meanness sometimes get the last say? Can't we stand up for what is just, right and good? We do in good time. Wait for your chance to speak with an honest and true voice. Do not get down in the mud with those who have caused you harm. Know that "He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Matthew 5:45. Revenge is not in our hearts or minds, no matter how frustrated we become. Err on the side of what is good and holy. Even thought our lesser selves demand a response that is not fitting of us, stand firm and strong in the faith. I see the media and others tear apart people's personal lives in the pursuit of supposed knowledge and truth. They are not focused on the welfare and well-being of others. They seek after the sored details to sell magazines and drive up ratings. They think by playing the gotcha game that it makes them more intelligent, better and dare I say, relevant. I'm pretty sure most of us played the gotcha game in Jr. High and most of us grew up. It's like some sort of crazy boxing match that has no winners. Don't be drawn into that side of the world. Know that God is in Heaven and even though it might look like someone is prevailing against you, they are not. They will be revealed for what they are and what they do. Actions speak much louder than words and we truly reap what we sow. Sow the goodness and joy of Jesus Christ in the face of all adversity.

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