“Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.” Ecclesiastes 7:21-22
I admit it, taking things personally is something I am fantastic at. It is usually followed with the response, “what is that supposed to mean?” This is not something I am proud of doing or admitting. But I am learning to pause and take a breath before responding to the matter.
My coworker was telling me a story about another lady was which she was working. She explained how the other woman was mad that she was not getting a response from another person after numerous email attempts. She told my coworker how she wanted to tell the person off and end all communication. My coworker advised her not to because she would never know when this person may ask for her business and there was no harm in continuing the correspondence, even if it was one-sided. She told her, “don’t take it personally.”
When my coworker said that, it resonated in my life. I would have reacted the same way as that lady did. Anxiety gives you that gift of escalating things quickly. I decided to practice my newfound revelation on my current situation.
I was wanting to meet with two people from another church. It took a lot of emails to get a hold of these people. After several emails, I would get one response and it was brief. I would immediately respond back, just to have a response a few days later. I was supposed to meet with one of the ladies but was told this was something I could do by email from the other person. More days passed, no response and I was anxious.
The day of the meeting, I emailed both again. But this time, I asked if everything was okay. I got a response a few hours later by phone. The lady apologized for the delay. She explained to me that something serious had been going through her life. She was served divorce papers and it was out of the blue. So she was dealing with lawyers and being in court besides working a full-time job and taking care of her kids. I knew I wasn’t exactly her priority and that was okay. I told her I would pray for her (and I did) and we could reschedule another time.
We deal with a lot of stuff in life. While I believe outright rudeness is unacceptable, sometimes I need to give grace to people in situations I have no control over. How many times do we habitually sin and God is right there to forgive us when we ask? I am thankful He doesn’t write us off when we don’t respond to His call.
Practice (and grace) makes perfect. I intend to think first and give grace when things aren’t progressing the way I would want.
Lesson Learned: Don’t take things personally, give some grace and carry on.
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us. Show me Lord how to show grace and not take offense to every little thing. Give me discernment in this matter. Help me forgive others’ mistakes, because you forgive mine. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”