September 4, 2013
Staying Calm and Being Kind
People have a funny idea of what they think is inconsiderate. If they feel inconvenienced in any way at all they lash out and call you inconsiderate (for inconveniencing them). It does not matter if what they are telling you off for is something beyond your control or not- they attack first without thinking that maybe they could talk peacefully with the other person instead of insulting them and yelling at them. This is how misunderstandings and fights are started (and dare I say that this can start wars too). Yelling at someone for something they have no control over when you have no idea what is going on with them that causes them to do whatever is inconveniencing you is selfish and rude, and inconsiderate. Have you ever noticed that often when someone is labeling you with cruel words that do not describe you that it tends to describe them? It seems to be easier to point to another person and blame them for the bad attitude or call them such-and-such a thing (like inconsiderate) than to look at your own behavior and attitudes and see it in yourself.
It is very ungodly to just start yelling at someone and throw out names that are hurtful to them when you have no idea what their situation is that’s causing them to do whatever it is your yelling at them for doing. The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:5 “Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do.” In Colossians 3:12-14 it says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Of course those outside the body of Christ (non-believers) would not know this or understand this concept, but that does not excuse their rude behavior either, just because they are not following Christ. Whether or not you follow Christ, you should do all of the things we are told to in Colossians 3:12-14 and we should do our best to keep the peace with everyone in our lives. You don’t need to be following Christ to have good manners and to be a good person. And telling someone off via a hand-written letter instead of talking gently to them face-to-face when you live in the same house is very suspicious, so do not say you were being polite when to be polite you would have very kindly approached the person face-to-face and found a respectful and gentle way to tell them what your issue is with them and given the person a chance to explain why it is beyond their control for whatever it is you have a grievance with them about and you can work out a peaceable solution together.
People need to remember the world does not revolve around them and that at some point in their lives, they will be inconvenienced. Things happen beyond any human’s control and then people end up being inconvenienced. That is no excuse to be rude to the people you feel inconvenienced by. You need to learn to deal with it and realize it is your problem and not theirs. Making your issues their problem and making them feel guilty or anxious isn’t right. The world does not come to end and you will not explode or die if you suffer through something inconvenient, such as having to use a different bathroom in the house, or having to go to the store to buy something you ran out of (like milk) because your spouse or kids drank the last of it. These (are examples of) minor inconveniences (and) are not worth starting a fight over or upsetting other people with, or worth getting upset yourself either. Take a deep breath, and if you have to then count to ten, and stay calm. And if you are outside the body of Christ, then you should consider following him so that you can learn the right way to live because when you are living the right way, you are not always stressed out (especially about the little things) and you’re not always worried because you will have a peace that comes from knowing that God is in control and that everything will be okay and work out in your favor. This is not a criticism on non-believers or anyone else. This is merely truth. Do you feel better after yelling at someone over something they can’t control and upsetting them in the process? Does it solve your problem in the end to be rude? Wouldn’t your problems be better resolved if you tried resolving them in a calm and peaceful manner instead?
Of course the flip side to these situations is not to get anxious when someone yells at you unfairly when you did nothing wrong and they were just being selfish and rude. When you are a child of God, you should be able to give all of your worries to the Lord and trust him to work them out in your favor. This is something that I am personally working on for myself because I get anxious easily. But I am working with God to stay calm and at peace through adversity and to trust him to be my Counselor, Vindicator, Judge, Refuge, Provider, and whatever else I need. When God is on our side, no matter how bad things look in the present moment, we should be able to rest assured that God is taking care of it and already has the solution and is waiting for his perfect moment (the right time) to work everything out in our favor. While we are going through these trials and tribulations, we have a chance to see how strong our faith is and an opportunity to grow spiritually. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:6-7, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” No matter which side of the situation you find yourself on (the person being inconvenienced or the person being accused of inconveniencing someone else), remember to stay calm and keep the peace. God will right the wrongs in his children’s lives. As Paul tells us in Romans 8:28, God will work everything together for our good. In order for that to happen though, we must love God and live a life pleasing to him in accordance to what he has called us to do in alignment with his purpose. It is true that the sun shines on the wicked and the righteous, but God will not reward evil attitudes, behaviors, or actions. However, he will help those who are innocent of intentional sin (and will forgive us when we do sin if we will confess our sin and not do it again) and rescue us in times of trouble. He will either bring us out of the situation, or help us work through it to a peaceful resolution. Therefore, let us let go of our worries, stress, anxieties, anger, frustration, and all other harmful emotions, attitudes, and behaviors and trust God to work on our behalf and let us accept his peace, joy, and love. Be understanding and forgiving because that is showing genuine love for others. Love does not judge, is not rude or boastful, is kind and patient, faithful, and enduring through every situation. It keeps no records of being wronged and doesn’t rejoice in injustice but is full of joy when truth wins out (this is a rough translation of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). May God’s peace be with you all.