There are some lessons in life that I’ve had to revisit – repeatedly.
I don’t know how many people experience this, but it’s like the most important nuggets of information that have formed my overall opinions on life get pushed to the back of my brain.
I get a revelation of something and it blows my mind and changes me, then I move on to the next lesson. I’m constantly on the lookout for the next thing God wants to teach me. I read a lot of books and listen to church podcasts. All of this new information gets stored somewhere, it’s just not always in my conscious awareness. Because of this, I get to relearn these things many times over until it becomes heart knowledge and not just head knowledge.
I’m currently stuck on a lesson that I am, truthfully, tired of having to go back to.
I am learning that when people are rude to me, try to manipulate me, or take advantage of me, it is not about me at all. It is about their pain and how I respond to it.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to revisit this one. It may seem like an obvious and easy one to many people, but not to me.
I first started learning this back in 2011, shortly after I became filled with the Holy Spirit. I’ve been bullied and I’ve been a bully. I understand the emotions behind both sides of this issue. So in the process of healing from my own feelings of rejection, this lesson was clear to me at that time. I began to treat those around me with respect. And I became known for having a kind and meek attitude. I wasn’t faking it. I genuinely felt this way.
This gradually faded to the background as I started struggling in college and with being continually mistreated by certain people in my life. It is similar to that feeling we all get sometimes when we go to church on Sunday and somewhere during the week what we learned at church feels so far away. We start to question how to apply the lessons to real life, and not just to our ideal world where everyone knows Jesus and nobody makes mistakes.
The reality of life is that people will not always treat you the way you think you should be treated. But the understanding of this should not change how we treat them.
For me, somehow in the middle of being yelled at by someone, being left out, and being gossiped about, my revelation of this went out the window. I got offended.
When we get offended, it skews our ability to see people the way God sees them. We see them through our pain. I saw these people though my pain.
Really, I couldn’t see anything except my pain. So I went to God about it. Crying, as usual. And he directed me back to that same lesson I had already learned. He put my broken heart back together and showed me, again, that it’s not about me. He gave me a lesson in compassion and sent out into the world again.
I don’t cry about it much anymore like I used to when I have to renew my mind on the issue. Now, it’s like I can already hear God’s response to me when people treat me wrong before I even ask Him about it. I am thankful for that because it means I’m learning to hear His voice more clearly and rely on Him instead of myself to respond to those situations.
My point is that we should not be afraid to admit that we don’t fully understand, even when it is something we think we should’ve already learned. God is faithful to teach us every step of the way. He knows when we truly understand something or not, and He uses the problems that cross our paths to bring things up that we brushed aside.
The best lessons are the ones that we don’t see coming… those times when we think we have everything under control and God steps in and, lovingly, reminds us that we cannot function properly without His grace.
Song on repeat: “Nothing I Hold Onto” by Will Reagan & United Pursuit
Book I’m reading: “Undaunted” by Christine Caine
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