Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down; with your sword rescue me from the wicked. Psalm 17:13
We’ve all been there, right? Someone wrongs us, and suddenly we are put in a position to decide whether we should say something and confront them, or hold our tongues.
Like me, you might resort to the old saying of, “take the high road” or “just let it roll off your back like water on a duck.” In most situations I’m accustomed to gritting my teeth and bearing it.
I’ve gotten pretty good at letting things roll off. My personality type makes it very difficult to stand up to people, or say something that might make them upset. I tend to be very relational, and want people to like me when I’m around. For some reason, confrontation tends to bring about the opposite effect.
But, every once in a while there comes a time when I feel the urge to respond. And when that happens, I get extremely nervous – like, body shaking, palms sweating kind of nervous. It is in these moments that I empathize with David asking God to do the confronting for him, as seen above in the Psalms.
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by the possibility of responses the other party could counter. As I’ve prepared myself recently for such a confrontation, I’ve found myself having these conversations in my head where I go back and forth, as myself and as the other party, in an effort to prepare myself for any and every response I might get.
It’s hard. And most people don’t enjoy being in this type of situation.
But sometimes it’s necessary. And most every time, it stinks having to do it.
So, as I’ve been praying over this particular situation, I’ve been reminded that it is important to communicate love in the midst of all this strife.
Romans 12 says, “If someone does wrong to you, do not pay him back by doing wrong to him. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. Do your best to live in peace with everyone. My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger” (v.17-19).
This concept is extremely challenging: to keep ourselves from wronging someone who wronged us. What’s up with that? If someone wrongs us, wouldn’t it just feel great to hit them where it hurts, and hurt them back? We tend to think so. But the Lord reassures us that He will be the one to punish those who hurt us.
Though I feel my particular situation required some action on my part (i.e speaking up), my goal in responding has been – this whole time – to respond in a loving way, that doesn’t call for hurtful words in response.
I encourage you too, as you find yourselves hurting and unsure of how to respond, to remember what’s most important.
Do not let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good. Romans 12:21