Do not pay attention to every word people say,
or you may hear your servant cursing you—
22 for you know in your heart
that many times you yourself have cursed others. Ecclesiastes 7:21-22
How often do we take offense at what people say or do? Comments may be directed towards our person, our family or even our faith. Some remarks we can simply brush off. However, there are those that pierce us deeply. They affect the way we see ourselves. Why is this so? Is it because there is some truth to what they are saying? Or are we being too sensitive?
The reality is we can’t please everybody. People won’t always agree with what we believe in. We won’t always get a thumbs up for what we say or do. People may question us why do we what we do. They may even debate with us. That’s fine. We agree to disagree. At the end of the day, it’s all good.
As a fairly new blogger, I have crossed paths with other bloggers who have created names for themselves both here and abroad. Some I have had the privilege of meeting face to face while others I only connected with online. I’m happy to have met them because I get to see who they are in real life.
However, after the initial exchanges, there were no more responses. My emails and messages were on the “seen mode”. What I thought was a beginning of a meaningful connection was not true. There was probably no connection at all. They were just being polite. I felt bad, ignored, snubbed and brushed aside… that hurts!
The indifference towards me hurt a lot. There I was trying to get some encouragement but I was given the “seen mode”. What that feels is, “What do you want from me?” or “I’m too busy for you” and that hurts!
That happened a long time ago but I feel a tug in my heart every time I see their blog posts or receive their newsletters via email. As much as I want to unsubscribe, unfriend of delete them, I don’t want to be rude. Most of the time, I don’t bother reading their posts at all. I don’t engage as much as I did previously. I’m just a number in their subscription list. Is this a way I’m getting back at them? I don’t know all I can think of was that I was hurt…
As I’ve learned from my Bible studies, God created us for relationships. We were intended to be part of family, a community, a nation. And if my desire to have a relationship or connection with someone is not well reciprocated, I feel rejected. Whereas before, I really didn’t care about other people. All I cared about then were my family and my close friends. Now that my sphere of influence is getting wider and my relationship with the Lord is also getting better, I feel that this hostility towards others should change.
However, i may have taken that to the extreme. I wanted to please everyone. I wanted to be there to help. After contemplating about this issue, there is so much drama in my life already 😉 that I don’t want to add anymore to that. Seriously? If they won’t be bothered, that’s fine! I’ll take that as NO. It’s time to grow up, move on and let go! I have been too sensitive both online and offline that the only person badly affected by all of these is me.
Whatever their reasons were for “ignoring me” is shouldn’t be a big deal to me. Not being “friends” does not give me my identity. They don’t define who I am and what I can be.
The best thing to do is to seek God and ask Him, “Lord, why do these people bother that much?” Then in the quietness of my heart, God will speak. He will reveal any sin, any bad attitude or wrong thinking… and this, He did to me.
Seriously though, are they the only people in the world I can connect with? Are they the only ones I can form meaningful relationships with? Maybe what they were trigger points to see who I am inside. And God used these people to see a character flaw in me that I will humbly accept and act on to change.
Sensible people control their temper;
they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. Proverbs 19:11
We are called to love God and love others. We are also called to love our enemies. I know this is the hardest thing to do, believe me! But as the Spirit of Christ in us He will change our hearts so we can love those who even offend us.
I’ve tried reaching out to the other person again, and I was still ignored. But you know what? It honestly didn’t matter this time. I was sincere in reaching out especially during the time when the person was down, unfortunately, I’m still in the “seen mode” 🙂 I forgive her.
Overlooking an offense takes a lot of effort. It needs a solid connection with God and the inner peace knowing who we are in Christ. Our identity is in Christ and not in our work, nor in other people. Overlooking an offense is something we need to learn, accept and practice daily with Christ as our source of help.
How about you? How do you handle criticisms or not so good remarks? Do you bite back or do you keep quiet? Not comfortable sharing your thoughts in the comments section? Feel free to share it with via Facebook or email me anytime at [email protected]. Looking forward to those emails 🙂
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