Wednesday, June 29, 2011


     I wonder if what I did was right today.  I wonder if she is mad at me.  Did I say the wrong thing?  Could I have been more kind?  These are questions I face sometimes living a Christian life.  Self-reflection can be a good thing.  I believe God wants us to do it to keep our hearts in a humble place.  It allows us to know if we need to go back and apologize for something or if we can to correct something we have done or not done.  It keeps us accountable to ourselves, God and others.  Most of the time it is a blessing, but sometimes it can be a burden.
     Doubt, fear and worry all can jump in these reflections without any warning.  It’s frustrating when I am thinking about someone that seems angry with me and I dig into the last few days to try and remember what problem I may have caused.  For the life of me, I cannot find a reason.  This can lead to obsessing and worrying that your offense will never be forgiven.  It can take over your thoughts, take over your dreams, or worse keep you from sleeping at all.  I think we have to reflect on ourselves in a healthy way; the way God meant for us.
    Jesus said, blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  Sometimes people will get angry at us, for what seems like no good reason at all.  So then what?  There is never any harm in asking them if you’ve offended them.  Sometimes we are blind to our own actions and need to be told that we have hurt someone.  Pride must be swallowed and the answers need to be a priority.  If we’ve done what is asked of us, we’ve taken a step back and looked at ourselves in the mirror, we’ve asked them and they don’t respond, then it’s time to accept the fact that the problem may be on their end.  No judging just deducing.  It may not even be something we did.  Perhaps they are going through a trial and are not ready to talk about it.
     In this case, all we can do is practice what is called the three P’s:  Prayer, patience, and persistence.  We need to pray for them to forgive us and for our relationship to be healed.  Pray for them in general, and for any trials they may be facing.  Be attentive and look for clues as to what you can pray for them.  We must be patient after we pray and not let the cold shoulder or different attitude from them affect the relationship even more.  Patience means overlooking our feelings and acting in love.  Finally we have to be persistent.  This doesn’t mean that we should keep asking them to forgive us, especially if they’ve already denied we did anything wrong in the first place.  Persistence just means to not give up on them.  Trust that they will come around.  Sometimes things aren’t about us at all and us being there for them is the best gift we could give them.  It shows that we are a real friend and that even when times are tough, we stand by them.  Healthy reflection is looking inward, but trusting God and knowing when to stop.