The “Presenting” Problem
Nothing will put us in a funk faster than dwelling on how we’ve been slighted, whether real or perceived. Pro athletes call it being disrespected. Little children don’t have a word for it yet.
The closer the person is to us, the more painful the slight feels. For example, the driver who dives into that small space between you and the car in front of you and then taps the brakes is a mosquito bite (although the venom can accumulate over the years). But to work for a boss who doesn’t appreciate your work can feel more like a saber slashing at the core of who you are. And a family member or close friend who never seems to initiate or offer you encouragement can dig a hole in your soul that fills back up with a strong resentment and bitterness.
The “Real” Problem
One day recently I was mired in the problem—feeling slighted. Once there, things quickly escalated. Many other grievances I’ve had against others, all of which I thought were forgiven and forgotten, came flooding back into my mind.
The next morning I brought myself through prayer into the presence of Jesus. Once there, I was reminded (yet again) that we are all like sheep who stray. I have grievances against you, but you have just as many grievances against me—probably more. You have slighted me, but I have slighted you.
Here’s the real problem: we are not in this against each other, we are in this together. That’s why I need to give you more grace—in the same way that Jesus gives me so much grace.
Instead of adjudicating our slights against each other, let’s open our eyes and see that we are all sheep in the same pasture. And we can trust our Shepherd sees what’s going on and will smooth things out between us—always if we ask for help, and almost always even when we don’t.
Of course, the timing may be different than we would like. God has an altogether different way of looking at time than we do. “With the Lord a day is like 1000 years, and 1000 years is like a day.”
This is the way of the gospel of Jesus. It’s a better way. In fact, it is the only way real way to lasting peace and reconciliation with each other.
Now, if I can just remember this the next time I feel the funk coming on.