Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What's Love Got To Do With It?

This world is a sensitive place. There are so many different personalities, such a variety of tempers out there, it's hard to keep everyone happy all of the time. Impossible really. But something we need to remember is this:

If you're hurting other people you're doing something wrong.

I understand that when people are angry, or sad, or stressed, they often respond without thinking. It's to be expected. Humanity is selfish, we want everyone to do things our way. It's so easy to forget that not everyone thinks the same thoughts as we do. But we need to remember not to sin in our anger (Eph. 4:26). Don't harm someone else simply because they don't understand you.

It's so hard to be nice to the people that we don't like, the ones that have a personality that clashes with ours. We don't have to like them, but we do have to love them as brothers and sisters in Christ (Mark 12:31). God loves them unconditionally, and we are to love them as He loves them. That means not putting them down, not talking behind their back, not setting them up for failure. We should be kind to them, encourage them, welcome them.

We don't have to torture ourselves and spend every waking minute with these people, just show them God's grace when they're around.

My biggest problem is momma bear syndrome. When someone hurts a loved one of mine, I will jump down their throats. Did you make my best friend cry? I will hunt you down and... well... pain, lots of pain! I'm so protective of those I love (I do blame you for the fact that I inherited this, mom.) When they hurt, I physically feel the pain. It's a writer's problem. A great man (Austin Hummell) once said: "Writers feel so much more than anyone else." While it might not be specific to only writers, it is accurate in my case. When someone I care about is hurting, I want to straight up destroy anyone who might have caused even a bit of that pain. In the most eloquent description: I will cut you.

But in all seriousness, this is a real problem. I have the burning desire to cause people pain if they do something to harm my friends and family. Here's the issue with that...Two wrongs don't make a right. Me hurting another person does not make the pain of the past go away. It just creates more anger and aggression and hurt.

I'm slowly learning how to hold my tongue, how to be more pleasant, how to do something constructive rather than something detrimental. The most helpful thing I've learned along this journey? The first thing to pop into your head is probably the worst thing you can say aloud. Never EVER go with your first instinct when you're emotionally distraught. It will only make things worse. And always keep in mind, the people around you are human too. Their feelings are just as fragile as yours. Would you want someone to treat you the way you're treating them? Be gentle, be kind. That's what love is (1 Cor. 13:4-7).


Jackelyn Stange

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