How to tell a friend they are a jerk.
I'm about to push the limits of what is acceptable to talk about on a church blog.
Let's be real for a minute, we live in a "Mean Girls" society. With social media we are more opinionated, justified, and more righteous than our previous generations. We speak our minds without considering the repercussions of our words.
Love God: easy.
Love people: .... Let's just say the second part is a job. We all have to work on it.
ave you ever been in a situation where you hear a friend, husband/wife, coworker or maybe someone you aren't particular fond of says something hurtful? Whether it's from someone you love or someone you are trying really hard to love doesn't make it any easier to hear something hurtful.
During a recent interaction of feeling betrayed, my first thought made me forget my religion. I wanted to scream, "you are such a jerk!!" And if I'm being honest, I could have unraveled much more from my feelings! However, my growing faith made me pause. I walked away feeling hurt and ashamed. And I was upset that I didn't take up for myself. So, what would you do in this situation?
I, for one, do not have the answers. You're probably asking yourself why I'm writing a blog without answers. Well, when I don't have the answers and I don't know where to turn, I open my bible. Man doesn't always have the answers, but the Bible does. I hope to give you a little tid bit of hope through my trials and tribulations.
Do you ever say something and instantly your foot precisely lodges itself down between your teeth and down your throat. It happens often. I have foot-in-mouth disease and it occurs pretty often. So, when someone says something mean to me I instantly relate and try to have sympathy. Although, people in society try to convince me otherwise. "Don't let them walk all over you." "Don't be their friend - they aren't really your friend. They are using you."
So, what am I to do?
id you know in the back of most bibles there is a handy-dandy little guide to life's troubles?
When I'm dealing with something and I don't know where to turn, I find a related topic and start flipping the pages. I always find verses or chapters related to the problem I'm facing.
"A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is his glory to overlook an offense." - proverbs 19:11
Call me sensitive or call me selfish, I don't know. Growing up I've been hardened by people's words. Do you ever swallow so much hatred you end up spitting nails at the next person you come in contact with - usually someone undeserving? In typical fashion, I would cowardly repress my resentment towards someone and unexpectedly burst into a fit of rage when I reached maximum capacity.
I thank God for always giving me a second chance (okay, fine, a third or fourth chance, maybe 102,384,789 chance... but, who's counting). God has placed opportunities in my life to allow me to grow a relationship with Christ and to appreciate the sacrifice made by Jesus for me and you. With this new found love and appreciation, I have learned to slow with my anger. This gives me a chance to ask myself very important questions:
Am I hurt because I'm sore from previous situations?
Did this person mean to hurt me or where they directed towards me?
Is this worth losing a friendship over?
Will it still be hurtful tomorrow or next week?
Is this something I am able to resolve on my own or through prayer?
Depending on the situation, give yourself a chance to cool down and really evaluate the situation. Pray for answers. Read your bible for answers.
"Cease from anger and forsake wrath; fret not yourself - it tends only to evil doing. For evil doers shall be cut off, but those who wait and hope and look for Lord shall inherit the Earth." -psalm 37:8,9
"He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is hasty of spirit exposes and exhausts his folly." -proverbs 14:29
So, when do you tell your friend they are a jerk? As my first instinct has failed to solve problems, I decided to take a more reliable path. I decided that my insecurities were barking in my ear, making me rise to irrational feelings that had the potential to hurt a friendship. The devil will feed on these feelings and ruin your life. I have decided to take a positive action to correct my own life - the only life I can control. When anger rises, I will work towards pushing it away and hopefully someone won't be writing this about me one day.
Are you a jerk? Am I a jerk? When we read and live God's word, we are one step closer to at least being 1/4 of a jerk. Baby steps, right?