Special Note: I’ve just posted an update on my health and treatment here. It’s a moving target, so I’ll post a follow up in about two days with more news.
Now here’s this weeks post – Self Defense
Recently I received an email from someone I felt had judged me unfairly—misjudging both my actions and my motives. There was an initial flare-up of defensiveness and self-justification, but in the busyness of the day, I soon forgot the email and just got on with the things I had to do.
A few days later 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 on my laptop to write the rebuttal email that I was putting together in my mind and could hardly wait the few seconds for it to boot up! My emotional state was mildly 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 vindicate 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. As I poured her coffee, I mentioned the recent “critical” email and my noble plan to set things straight.
Jean asked me what I would be accomplishing by my self-justification-motivated, resentment-fueled email. As I thought about Jean’s question—about what I would really be accomplishing—I came up with this list:
- I’ll say some self-righteous, self-justifying things that don’t really need to be said.
- I’ll push the emailer toward anger and self-justification.
- I’ll drive a wedge between myself and the emailer and between myself and Jesus, who loves both me and the emailer a lot.
- My self-justifying email will provide the opportunity for misunderstanding, discord, and separation to spread in ways I can’t even imagine!
- My loving Father will, after the dust settles, ask me why I responded out of my old ego self instead of my new nature, my Christ nature. To which I’ll reply that it’s very likely because I’m an idiot and I’m sorry and please forgive me! (and He will!)
I didn’t write the email! Instead, I prayed God’s blessing on the writer of the email and then on everyone else I could think of toward whom felt the slightest negative attitude. Thankfully, it was a very short list!
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!
So how’s your week been so far?
As always, I’d love to hear from you and I welcome your comments and questions. If you’re reading on the blog, leave a comment below. If you’re reading from the email, click “Reply” and tell me what you’re thinking.