The emotional undertow started tugging at my ankles while I was mopping the kitchen.
Yesterday’s confrontation with a coworker played through my head, and my emotions went along with the wave. Anger. Hurt. Powerless. Trapped.
My thoughts tugged at me, tempting me to sink deeper beneath the surface. Why didn’t you speak up for yourself? You’re such a coward. And what’s her problem, anyway? You were right. You ought to go back in there tomorrow and make sure your boss knows what happened.
It was a familiar cycle: rehearse it all in my head, chewing over the hurt and offense like a cow chewing on the cud. Let my emotions spin me up and over while my thoughts churned, stirring up the anger and driving the hurt down.
I slapped the mop into the wringer. “Not today.” I whispered. “God, she was wrong. What she did hurt and what she said wasn’t true. But I choose to forgive. Help me choose good.”
We are sinful people living in a world with other sinful people. When our broken edges rub up against other people’s jagged edges, we get hurt. Sin hurts. It hurts those who commit it, and it hurts those who are impacted by it. On this side of heaven we will get wounded by sin, but when it happens we have a choice: return evil for evil or overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21).
If we are redeemed, then the Spirit of the Living God dwells within our hearts. His light shines in us, and we bring that light with us wherever we go—our homes, our churches, our work. We will be hurt by sin, but we get to choose how we respond. Will we respond with the world’s cycle of getting revenge and giving cold shoulders? Or will we respond by drawing on God’s supply of unlimited grace? We get to choose forgiveness over bitterness, blessing over accusation, and justice over revenge. We can choose to be both just and kind, remembering that there is no one God does not desire to redeem. When we choose to do good, all of heaven’s power joins with us in the battle. We don’t just do good—we create it.
We create goodness by letting God’s goodness be displayed in us. In those moments of decision, we can draw on his power and strength to choose what is right. Returning wrong for wrong doesn’t fix situations—it only adds to the mess. We will never overcome evil with evil, but we can overcome evil with good.
This post is part of the Share Your Story Link-Up at The High Calling
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