Yes, I have been a major work in progress over the years battling my own demons so to speak. I have come a long way and I thank God for that, but I also see how far more I have to go. One of my greatest weaknesses is ‘reacting’ to situations. I was hyper sensitive – which is the flip side to the strength that helps me be an empathiser and feel with people going through pain, to be there for them. Over the years though I do see a change in the WAY I react. As God’s love pours in me and works through me, healing pain of past experiences and afflictions, His love also fills me and flows through me. He reminds me that just as much as His grace and mercy were well needed in my life, others need that too.. and often we are God’s vessels to touch people.
God began to rebuke me when I spoke words of sarcasm or condemnation or bringing up their pasts in condemnation or belittling.. Calling someone names was also tabooed. He reminded me that we all make mistakes but those don’t earn a label. Just because someone lies in a particular situation doesn’t make them a liar yet those who have a compulsive tendency to lie and cheat people are. Someone who has got drunk on an isolated incident doesn’t make them a drunkard – just as much as there was only one reference to Noah getting drunk and thus that doesn’t make him a drunkard. A drunkard by definition is one who is addicted to alcohol and is most of the time found in drunken stupor.
It certainly isn’t easy to pause and think when you are annoyed or irked… but loving your neighbour calls for us to love others the way we would want people to love us. If we don’t like being bullied and put down yet we bully or put down the other, then that makes us hypocrites. If we don’t like people having prejudices against us, we need to be wary that we don’t have prejudices against others (and boy, isn’t that an area that God has been dealing with me over the years!).
I realise that often people incite others .. and then when they react, they put the reaction under a magnifying glass not evaluating their own behaviour to incite them. They forget all the good that the reactor has done for them and in an instant they cut them off as if they had an infectious disease. They conceal their own behavioural downfalls and mistakes, cover the LOG in their eyes, while highlighting the speck in the reactor’s eyes… The log holder with his/her superiority complex pushes out the speck holder – and in today’s social media days blocks the speck holder. Often it is their own denial towards areas that God is bringing out through the ‘reactor’ that leads them to reject, oppress or block..
A mature person will be able to see the reactor’s weakness and embrace with grace, helping to build up in love.. a mature person wouldn’t incite another either. It takes a coward to incite and then punish the reactor. The inciter may think they are holier than thou especially if the reactor doesn’t ‘take revenge’. Yet God sees beyond all that. It is His heart that all love one another and all allow Him to search their hearts. He gives a time for them to see their wrong doings, He gives them a chance by sending people with prophecies that are motivated by love.. and if they still resist then God will judge accordingly.
I can only thank God more and more for the people who have withstood my reactions especially those in the years past, who have been patient with me, and have seen beyond my inevitable faults and flaws.. not expecting me to be a perfect robot. These are mature friends – and a number of these friends are much younger than me mind you! They are treasures in my eyes.. Yes we have all incited each other and reacted to the inciting.. but we have seen the hearts and remember the goodness in each other which has led to some solid beautiful longstanding friendships.
Yes, I surely have my weaknesses, my failures, my negatives.. but I’m a work in progress and I also know in parallel I have a lot of strengths and positives too. I thank God that He loves me for who I am and He is teaching me to increasingly respond (and react less) in a positive way – not to sin in my anger, but to respond with righteous anger as anger is not an unhealthy emotion provided it is channelled correctly.
I pray that I won’t be one to ‘incite’ though… and I pray that all of us will be asking God to convict us when we are inciting another, and also when we are not loving the one who reacts to our inciting. Of course, in the situations where we are being incited, we need to pray for wisdom to know how to deal with that (how to respond and not react) – there is a time and a season… a time where the inciting is leading us to disobey God which is from the enemy, a time where the inciting that God permits (as He did with Job and for the time David remained at the palace under Saul’s evil spiritual attacks) to strengthen us and a time God puts a stop to the inciting as He did with Job or gets us to flee from the situation like David ran for his life from the palace.
Of course we see Jesus rebuked the self righteous legalistic religious leaders – they are the ones who cause us to stumble by their laws taking away the work of Christ on the cross. They won’t make it to heaven and they won’t allow others too… If you are being controlled by the Jezebel spirits of the religious person, then obviously that person isn’t of God! Flee!
Always seek God for His discernment and wisdom for each situation of incite – react!