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Sorting It Out
Photo: Andres Rodriguez
Last Sabbath was communion service at our church. As usual, on this special day, we prepare ourselves spiritually to accept the emblems of Christ's sacrifice for us. We try to have our hearts and minds clear from distractions of the world, and we bind together in fellowship with our church family. It's a time to set aside any grievances or prideful feelings that may come between us.

Yes, I knew that. But on this Sabbath, Satan had thrown a stumbling block in front of me that I wasn't expecting. Someone that I had been trying to help in the church turned on me and actually said some unkind words. Did this hurt my feelings? Ummm...well...it might have been better if it had hurt my feelings. Instead, it made me furious! It was the last straw. I had done everything I knew to help this person, but every action was unacceptable. To make it worse, I had just had surgery that week and my tolerance level was pretty low.

I got through communion, prayed for God's mercy on me to be loving even in difficult situations like this one. And then after church, another bomb fell when this person accused me of not caring. “That's it!” I said to my husband. “I'm finished! Even Jesus counseled that there is a point when you shake the dust off your feet and move on!” I was livid.

I'm Awful

Then as I reflected on the communion service I had just taken part in, and as I heard the words of sincere people's testimonies echo in my mind, I began to feel guilty. “I'm a terrible person,” I said. “We just had communion, and here I am feeling furious at someone. I'm awful!”

Then my calm husband (good thing one of us was calm) responded, “You'll sort it out.” That was the perfect response. You see, on the one hand, Mark sympathized with my frustration as he had witnessed part of it himself, and felt for me. On the other hand, he couldn't deny that my feelings of needing to be forgiving were also valid. Wisely, though, he knew that my being able to come to a proper conclusion probably wasn't going to happen until I was able to process it more calmly.

Mark was right. I did sort it out. In prayer, I found a balance of how to deal with the situation. This made me realize that we need to be so careful in giving advice or helping someone in crisis while the situation is still intense. High emotion often results in distorted thinking. A little time and prayer will bring the truth into focus and then practical solutions can be found.

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By Gwen Simmons. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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