This Is Not a Breezy Easy Read! But! Risk reading it anyway!
All of us have done harm to others, and most of the time most harm is done unintentionally.
But there are some among us who do harm maliciously. It empowers them to either “get revenge” or to hold your feet over the fire of their plan to make you dance. (Just what is malice anyway?)
The word has its roots in a Latin, Old French and Spanish word for “evil” or “bad.” From a legal perspective, malice is defined by the “conscious intent to do harm.”
But what, you might wonder, would make a person deliberately want to hurt someone else?
One Reason is: To punish.
Disturbed and disordered, insecure people don’t like it when you don’t see things their way, don’t do the things they want you to do, or when you don’t give them what they want or exactly expect from you.
And, they’re more than willing to make your life miserable as a way of wearing you down to get you to comply.
They’re strong vindictive fighters whose supreme rule of engagement is simple: “Give me what I want and you won’t get hurt. Defy me, and there’ll be some sort of hell to pay.”
Another Reason is: To feel powerful.
Some people just want to feel one-up and on top of you. And they’ll do whatever it takes to make you knuckle-under or remain in a groveling position.
They hurt you because they can, and knowing they can makes them feel big and strong. Disturbed people often build themselves up at the expense of others.
Much of our lives are spent in reaction to others and to the events happening around us. The problem is that these reactions might not always be the best option or action, and as a result, they can make others unhappy, make things worse for us, or make the situation worse.
Why would we want to make things worse?
The truth is, we often REACT without thinking. It’s a gut reaction, often based on fear and insecurities, and it’s not the most rational or appropriate way to act.
RESPONDING, on the other hand, is taking the full situation in, and deciding the best course of action based on healthy decisions, such as reason, compassion, cooperation, grace, asking ourselves the questions: Why am I reacting with venom or fear? What do I need to look at in my own heart?
As long as mankind has been around there have been conflicts and reactions it.
Learn to Respond Wisely
The main thing to learn is mindfulness. Mindfulness means watching ourselves when something happens that might normally upset us or trigger some kind of emotional reaction.
Pay close attention to how our minds react. Then pause. We don’t have to act immediately, just because we have an internal reaction.
We can pause, not act, we can simply breathe. We can watch this urge to act irrationally arise, then let it go away.
Sometimes that takes a few seconds, other times it means we should remove ourselves politely from the situation and let ourselves cool down before we respond.
- Watch the reaction go away.
- Now consider what the most intelligent, compassionate response might be.
What can we do that will help our relationships, teach, build a better team or partnership, make the situation better, calm everyone down, including ourselves?
At first, you might mess up!
But in time, you’ll learn to watch this reaction, and you’ll get better at the “pause”.
Don’t get exasperated if you mess up — just resolve to be more mindful when it happens next time. Pay attention to what happened to trigger your reaction, and pay attention when something like that happens again.
“A person’s wisdom yields to patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense,” Proverbs 19:11.
Be mindful (wise), pause, then consider a thoughtful, compassionate response.
“This you know, my beloved friends. But hear this again. Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God,” James 1:19-20.
“A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back,” Proverbs 29:11.
Here’s a prayer that can help free you from the repercussions of anger, rage and punishing others for not being the image of perfection that you might have projected onto them.
Be freed from the bitterness that has infiltrated your heart and allow sweet conviction to flood your entire being.
Dear God, please help me to forgive this person _______ for the pain that their harshness has caused.
I reacted instead of waiting until I thought things through clearly.
I struck back to wound and justify my position rather than allowing you to show me the full picture.
Help me to see the greatness in them and learn love them the way that You do.
Help me to relinquish the anger that I’m experiencing so that I can walk in the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Help me to heal from this incident and to release any bitterness that I may be harboring.
Please give me guidance in this situation, Holy Spirit, so that I can approach it in the way that is most pleasing to You.
Help me God to do Your will. Thank You, and in Jesus’ mighty name, I pray. Amen.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.