I felt the rage of anger burn in me, like a hot flame devouring a dried twig. Why was I so enraged by the words of a friend? I sat with my legs crossed, one swinging on top of the other. My back straight with indignity. My brows raised, half-listening as my friend tried to explain her position on the issue we both felt so strongly.
She said I was wrong! How dare her? What did she know of the situation except what I had told her? I was waiting for her to finish talking so I could defend myself.
I wasn't wrong!
Or was I?
What if I was?
What if I was! The thought of being wrong alarmed me. I stopped my internal tirade and felt the heat of anger immediately melt as the reality of my probable mistake settled on me.
Anger gave way to guilt as I considered the reality that I was the one in the wrong. I realized the source of my anger wasn't injustice; it was simply pride. The situation had bruised my ego, which was about to cost me a good friend. Aha! I wasn't going to let that happen. I valued relationships even more than being justified.
Just like me, you may have experienced moments wherein a flash of anger, you did something you wish you didn't. That feeling of hurt helps you justify your reaction, and you lash out to the parties involved. They have to have it. They deserve it. It's their fault; you explain in your mind. But what happens when the moment passes, and the dust settles? Do you still feel justified? And does your action feel right? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't, but the destruction most times is just not worth it.
When others offend us, it's only natural to stand your ground and make them pay. As followers of Jesus, we have been called to take the high road and let things be. We need to be humble enough to ignore an insult for the sake of peace. Matthew 5 verse 9 reminds us that "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
To be a peacemaker, you have to be humble. Now I know this is hard, and as someone who always likes to be in the right, I can tell you it isn't easy to be humble and let the other guy save face when things go wrong. Like you, I am learning every day to put my pride aside, humble my heart and allow peace to take its hold.
Now being humble isn't a sign of weakness or grounds for being taken for granted. It means you deliberately allow others to look good because you are secure in knowing who you are and because you value the other person. You don't always have to prove a point, you don't always have to respond to an insult, and you don't always have to give someone a piece of your mind. Yea, I'm also learning to do this.
If everyone went about trying to be correct, this world would be in a state of chaos. Imagine driving on the road, and a vehicle starts driving straight at you in your lane. You know you are on the right side of the road, but this driver keeps coming. You have space to yield on your side; would you keep going and have a head-on collision because you are in the right of way? No friend, common sense says yield, and except you have a death wish, that's what you would do in that situation.
In the same way, bible sense is saying, be humble and take the highway. Be a peacemaker as you are a child of God.