Self Defense

Yesterday I received an email from someone (I felt) had judged me unfairly—mis-judging both my actions and my motives. In the busyness of the day, I soon forgot the email and just got on with the things I had to do.

This morning I started thinking again about how unfair the emailer’s judgment was and how I really needed to defend myself against this obvious attack on my character and my motives.

I turned my laptop on to write the rebuttal email that I was putting together in my mind and could hardly wait the few seconds for Outlook to come up! My emotional state was ramping up and I can tell you that the email I was about to write had at least one “…and another thing!” in it! I would certainly clear myself and give the emailer reason to think twice before judging me again!

As I waited for my computer to start, I went into the kitchen to get the coffee carafe to fill Jean’s coffee cup and as I poured her coffee, I mentioned yesterday’s email and my noble plan to set things straight. Jean asked me what I would be accomplishing by my anger- and self-justification-motivated email.

As I thought about Jean’s question—about what I would really be accomplishing—I came up with this list:

  1. I’ll say some self-righteous, self-justifying things that don’t really need to be said.
  2. I’ll push the emailer toward anger and self-justification.
  3. I’ll drive a wedge between myself and the emailer and between myself and Jesus, who loves both me and the emailer a lot.
  4. My self-justifying email will provide the opportunity for misunderstanding, discord, and separation to spread in ways I can’t even imagine!
  5. My loving Father will, after the dust settles, ask me why I responded out of my ego instead of my new nature, my Christ nature.  To which I’ll reply that I’m an idiot and I’m sorry and please forgive me!  (and He will!)

I’m thankful for Jean’s wisdom and grace.  I’m thankful for God’s grace and unconditional love for me and for the people on the other side of each big or little issue that comes up in my big or little life!

I didn’t write the email!  Instead, I prayed God’s blessing on the writer of yesterday’s email and then on everyone else I could think of that I felt the slightest negative attitude toward.

So how’s your week been so far?

About Jim Stephens

I am a Christ-follower, husband, father, grandfather, and friend. I've been a pastor, church-planter, missionary, mechanic, and business owner. My life is a journey of faith and discovery and I love the season of life I find myself in.
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One Response to Self Defense

  1. John says:

    He that corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. I think it follows as Christ listens to us we do right to listens to our wives.

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