We were in Bible study, seated among a group of women, and as you can imagine, we all wanted to help. It’s what women do after all. I told her about how I try to keep a teachable spirit, so the first thing I do is look for any truth I need to hear from the words. Even though I might not feel like hearing them, I ask the Holy Spirit to show me any helpful insight. From there, I gain some control. I can choose what parts of a conversation apply to me, and what parts are the responsibility of the deliverer. Maybe the words came out of their own bad day, or things they need to work on personally.
Another lady spoke about the times she feels a confrontation is warranted. Sometimes hard conversations need to happen. If so, she waits until her initial strong feelings have subsided. A calm conversation where you can relay your response to the hurtful words without adding fuel to the fire, so to speak. She asks the Holy Spirit to allow his fruit to work in the situation; love, patience, self-control… and the others we read in Galatians 5:22-23.
Our group offered some good advice, but I left feeling as if the conversation lacked a certain element of value. Our Bible study time should offer practical advice, and I could sense there was more to offer.
In the next few days, God revealed the larger truth. It is important to respond well when we feel hurt or frustrated. More important, though, is the health of our spirit before the hurtful words arrive. What kind of soil do these seeds of recrimination land on when they’re hurled in our direction?
I'd be delighted if you'd keep reading my guest post over at my friend Bailey's blog, The Thin Place.