Red - Week 4: Daily Reflections Wednesday, October 28, 2015
This week our daily reflections will be focused once again on one of the "hard sayings" of Jesus. The difficult words of Jesus that we're wrestling with this week come to us from Matthew 5:22 where Jesus said, "But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca,' is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."
Some of the worst moments in my life have been when I have said something hurtful to someone in the heat of an argument or disagreement, and then had to watch as my words landed on them like a body blow.
And there's a little voice inside of you that tries to tell you not to open your mouth in those moments, but when you are angry, or hurt they come tumbling out despite the protests of that little voice. For me, it's like I hear myself say the hurtful things that are pouring out, and I am kind of shocked that I am actually saying them.
Maybe you've been there, too. When that moment happens, when you say something so hurtful that you actually see the pain on the other person's face--it can fill you with a number of emotions.
We might actually feel a bit of short-lived triumph, even though it might be a bit sour. Maybe (in our estimation) the person on the other end of our verbal barbs kind of deserved to take the shot.
We might instantly feel ashamed, which can often lead to guilt, which can then lead quickly to anger and self-justification. Isn't it amazing how we can travel through all those emotions so quickly to arrive at a place where we are justifying why we were so nasty?
We might also immediately feel shocked and sorry, completely aware that the hurtful things we just said cannot be taken back, and the road to reconciliation between us and the person we are contending with just got a lot longer.
It's true. You can't take back what you've said. And you might very well be feeling some of the emotions I just mentioned--or maybe all of them, for that matter.
Obviously, the best of all possible worlds for us is to simply listen to the little voice that is telling us not to say the hurtful things that come to our minds when we are having conflict with someone else. That little voice is tuned to the Holy Spirit of God frequency that is humming all around us. It's wise to listen and to heed that voice, but there are moments when we foolishly ignore it.
So when you do find yourself in that moment where your hurtful words are hanging in the air like a cloud of poison, you need to immediately and authentically repent. Let your pride, your anger, your self-justification fall to the floor and simply be vulnerable.
If we want to be like Jesus, then we need to embrace humility like Jesus. We may not be able to take back the hurtful things we've said, but we can do everything in our power to repair the damage they've done.