Daily Devotion

Get Divine Consultation Before You Act

“Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.”
James 1:19 AMP

I must say thank you to everyone that was supportive and took the time to listen to me these last two weeks. Losing my father was something I could not fathom in the amounts of stress, anger and anxiety that would weigh on me and my spirit. I have had sleepless nights, sleeping for two hours then awake the next 22 hours. Those of you that took the time to listen know that I experienced much of this at the hands of my family; from all of the unwanted advice and opinions to flagrant expressions of Academy Award-winning acting and whoop-lah, it was quite an experience.

I spent lots of time in prayer, prayer to protect me from the hurtful things that were being done and said, prayer to keep me from “going postal” and hurting my mom even more, and prayer that I maintain my strength and health so that I could be strong for my family. It was hard with folks saying and emailing all kinds of things to you. None of the people considered the things I have encountered since before my dad died, or the fact that I had a kidney transplant last year and that extreme amounts of stress can cause kidney rejection. No one took into consideration the amount of self-control required not to snap back at them—but instead, say nothing and keep my distance. I really have to thank God for discernment and revelation of ways for me to get out of stressful environments like walking my dog and leaving the house altogether. No one considered the fact that certain members of our family felt it their responsibility to try and abscond decisions regarding my father’s care from my mother. No one considered or knew about the difficulties I experienced at work before this or afterwards—including having a shouting match over the phone with my supervisor the day my dad passed and even having been yelled at by my supervisor on Wednesday then being called again by him on Friday. No one considered the amount of stress from having no available leave to use during this absence because of my transplant last year. To make matters worse, not a single one of these offenders asked me how I was doing, no one pulled me to the side to ask me what was wrong, if I needed anything or if I needed to talk before voicing or writing their frivolous assumptions. Even more appalling, some of them haven’t even lost a pet, let alone a parent, child, sibling or spouse, so how can they offer an opinion about a situation they have not gone through! In my mind and heart I was hurt and angry, but like Jesus said I had to turn to the other side and let them slap the other side because my reaction would not have been pretty or helpful. Surprisingly, in the face of all of these things, I did not say anything. It was the hardest pill of humility I ever had to swallow because I definitely wanted to rip them a new one (smile). Lord you know how it is eating me up! Sometimes though, it is those closest to you that hurt you by their own misguided guilt and frustration. People often want to shift the blame to someone else when they themselves have done or not done all they could have done in a particular situation. But in respect of my father’s memory, and out of love for my mother and brothers, I overlooked all of these things. And fortunately for these people I had a few people I could go bounce my anger off of. My choice was simply to walk away, say very little if anything at all, and ignore them.

I’ve been on the other side where I did not fully think through the reaction to what I said to someone. I thought about it after the fact, and I did apologize. But the words were already out and the damage already done. We as human beings have a “me-centered” mentality rather than being “God-centered”. We judge before knowing the whole story, we accuse and offer unwanted advice, and many of us speak without thinking, even to the point of not considering what the person may be going through before voicing our sometimes unneeded opinions. “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:19. I DEFINITELY know it was much better for me to hold my tongue and not say anything because there would have been plenty of hurt feelings and angry people. I have to remind myself that God says that vengeance is His so why bother getting riled up when God will handle that for me. The only way to deal with something like this, in my opinion, is to pray. God knows what you need to hear or what to put in your path to keep you from causing yourself a setback, so give it to Him and let Him guide your path and your tongue. Don’t say/write/do NO THING you may regret…

“A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.”
Proverbs 17:27

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