So I admit that for the past two Sundays I’ve left the second service very frustrated (a less condemning word than “convicted”). Brent’s messages in his Survivor Series have left me somewhat disturbed. Last week, the whole “Wives respect your husbands – even if they do not deserve it” message was extreme! Are you kidding me? Now don’t get me wrong. I was not upset because of how difficult it would be for me to put that into practice. I am one of the blessed women to have a wonderful, godly husband who deserves nothing more than my deepest admiration and respect. My beef was that I knew many women married to sorry husbands and I thought it unfair to make this request of them. It really bugged me! Respect is EARNED!
So I mentioned my disappointment to Brent on Sunday afternoon, explaining that I couldn’t believe he would misuse scripture in such a way. He defended the message a little and the conversation ended for the moment. Because I’m this way, I decided to stir up dinner conversation one night, and I brought up the subject of the message with the family. Knowing that my daughters and sister would quickly jump on my bandwagon against Brent’s radical message, I was sorely disappointed at the reaction! Amanda hung with me for a bit (especially since I brought up an extreme situation like, what the wife of Dennis Rodman should do), and then Brent brought up some other passages of scripture to back up his point (that is so annoying, by the way), and then even she turned her back on me! When my youngest daughter pointed out that, as believers, we don’t have the right to do what’s wrong even if the other person is wrong, I knew I was a goner! So I finished my meal with the sad realization that my husband had brainwashed them all into thinking that somehow we as Christians are to be humble and sacrificial even in hard situations.
Fast forward to Sunday. Message on handling conflict! Those who know me best know that I don’t actually mind conflict. I mean, when you’re always right, you don’t have to fear an argument. So I’m quick to address situations that involve me, because my assumption is that I’ll win anyway. Problem: Point #2 in the message says “Show patience by overlooking offensive behavior.” Now admittedly Point #4 was right up my alley: “Confront and correct in love.” But I was stuck on #2. Proverbs 19:11 says “a person’s wisdom yields patience, it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Overlook? Again, are you kidding me? He had the nerve to even say that this was a proof of Christian maturity! I was stunned and perplexed at this revelation! I think that he means that when it comes to petty circumstances, I am to let it go… forget it… don’t bring it up again… don’t tell others how bothered I am! That’s really heavy stuff!
But God has been working on me….This has been tough learning for me! Confession: I’ve thought for quite some time now that I’m a mature Christian. Discovery: I have a long way to go to be a mature Christian. As painful as it is to uncover and face, I’m a Pharisee! I am good to those who are good to me. I love those who love me. But when it comes to people who hurt my feelings, hurt my children, disappoint me, etc… I excuse my behaviors – unforgiveness, resentment, pride, and impatience. I’m sure in need of some of that amazing grace this week. And He’s there, with His new mercies everyday. Thanks be to God for His kindness and love!