So this was my former M.O. by God's grace :-)
Someone (who isn’t my mother or brother) pisses me off right? But I’m trying to walk this narrow path of life, embrace the fruit of the spirit, specifically meekness, right? So I just keep quiet. “Mum is the word.”
What I think I’ve done is become the bigger person, letting that person act a fool. Then, the pissed off-ness wears off and voila I have forgiven them.
(Somewhere along the way of realizing arguing for free is not worth a dime, I became non-confrontational – believe it or not - in day to day interactions of course…)
Oh but I’ve been told, I have the memory of an elephant. I don’t forget anything. (Side note: once I realized everyone doesn't have an "elephant's memory,", I had to mask how much I revealed to know, or they would think I had some supernatural powers – “how did you know that?” Um, you told me *blank stare*… jeez. Oh you remembered that...)
Anyway, back to the story. So said person comes along some time later and pisses me off again. (is “piss off” vulgar? I never knew it to be such, so no offense if you’re taking some offense). Again, I just let it go. In my mind, I’m like, this person is kind of crazy, duly noted, a discussion is not worth it – trying to remember my Proverbs – you know that part – don’t argue with fools...” "Argue" read "discuss in any shape or form, nada… "
Nonetheless, said person has just been moved out of my circle of trust, circle of sane people or what have you. Xtina pulls back from said person little by little. (Keep your enemies closer – naaah bro, I don’t play that – stay the heck away from me, uproot them Lord! *double snap*)
Then it happens again, and again, and again, and perhaps even their close friend pisses me off too – conspiracy kai, and then they come again…. (Remember, this hypothetical is just for illustration purposes.)
However, it’s very plausible that the next “again” might not receive the same “mum is the word” response. The next again might not even be as big of a deal as the first time or one of the “agains” prior. All the while, I thought I was being meek and forgiving. I was mum-is-the-wording and disregarding, meanwhile making my conclusions about this person’s behavior and inadvertently keeping record.
Recently, actually just last week, I tried something different. Something happened and I was not pleased with how this something unfolded. I thought, oh well, it is what it is, but next time I know. I won’t say anything at all. Wrong response, (here).
Hours later, when I finally had some down time on the drive home, lol, something in me decided not to just call it a night but rather pick up the phone. Right response! *ding, ding, ding* (in this instance)
Long story short, “It could all be so simple, but we rather make it hard.” (oh Lauryn). Mum is NOT always the word, necessarily. Although, it’s still a case-by-case analysis, at least I think so for now.
Before that, I’d always be like well this is trivial; I’m not going to make any kind of big or small deal about it. I’ll just keep quiet, you’re not going to catch me arguing (unless it’s for work, and even then I’m zealously advocating, not arguing).
For me and my elephant memory, that’s not always the right response (or lack thereof) because with each offending action, I continue to move the person down the spectrum of cool/sane person all the way down to just someone I happen to know, stranger, or even worse – that one is crazy. Unbeknownst to them all the while.
"I’m going to let this go and not say anything" is not always equal to meekness and true forgiveness if you haven't really "let it go."
But note, "When you decide to forgive someone, don't let the devil convince you that because you still have the same feelings you have not really forgiven the person. -Joyce Meyer
Forgiving the person is releasing them from their debt and never to use it against them. You still may feel a certain way about what they did, but you cannot act on it.
I’m learning to distinguish between meekness coupled with true forgiveness versus simply disregarding for the moment and recording.
I felt like I learned this lesson already here Love keeps no records of wrongs... and here the benefit of doubt but I’m also learning that we’re going to be learning lessons for life, a school we never really graduate from (til we pass on to glory).
Lord have mercy!
A thousand times I fail, still Your mercy remains…. Inside Out, Hillsong