Reading a daily devotion one morning, not only did the title speak to me, but a few things within the devotion as well. The title of the devotion was "Pretending I'm Fine or Proving I'm Right," by Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries. In the devotion, Lysa talks about which is the right thing to do when someone says or does something that hurts us. Stay quiet and pretend like nothing is wrong, or confront them with how wrong they were? What is the godly response? I began to wonder, "God, are you trying to tell me something?"
When God healed me of the many years of oppression, and intimidation that had been weighing me down for so long, there was a great weight that was lifted from within me. I was able, for the first time in many years, to truly feel forgiven and to feel forgiveness for others. But what about down the road, when I have to face my oppressors again? What do I do when I'm faced with someone who has always said negative things to me, or bad-mouth me whether I'm present or not? What do I do then? How do I stay honest, yet maintain my integrity?
We can't go into a confrontation with self-righteousness on the tips of our tongues. It is very important that we seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit before we even open our mouths. Because we know that there are those in our lives who are going to cause issues. So we hand them over to the Lord, and we ask for wisdom to be able to handle the situations that arise.
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy." ~James 3:17 (HCSB)
By focusing on God's wisdom and the godly wisdom He gives us, we will be able to invoke a peaceable reaction to those who seek confrontation. By reacting in a godly way; with love, peace, a kind word, etc., we can show our oppressors that we aren't going to fight with them.
Sometimes that will be enough to diffuse the situation. Many times though, they are looking for a fight. But if we have prayed about the situation, truly seeking God's wisdom, He will give us the peace-loving, gentle, response we need. We will be able to show mercy to those seeking oppression and confrontation.
Still, there will be times when reconciliation with someone just doesn't come. It is very sad when this happens. There are those whom I have prayed for, for years. The reconciliation has not come. There have been many confrontations, all ending in the other person becoming angry, while I sit calmly, trying to negotiate. They become agitated, yelling and throwing curses my way. It never ends with a calm reconciliation of our relationship. I have not gone into it blaming the other person, but trying very hard to reconcile. Nonetheless, there is never a calm restoration. These are the people that I must, for obvious reasons, stay away from. And it breaks my heart.
Reconciliation is a two-way street. It's a give-and-take. In this situation, the right thing to do is to give it to the Lord and let Him provide the wisdom, discernment, and the reaction that I need. If you have someone in your life that you have not been able to reconcile with, seek the wisdom of the Lord. Pray and ask Him for guidance. Hopefully one day you will be able to reconcile. It's never too late to try.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be give to him, But let him ask in faith, with no doubting..." James 1:5-6(a) (NKJV)