Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Inspirations December 13, 2009

"OW!" one boy shouted just before Primary started. I promptly sh'd him. "It wasn't me, it was him," he said while pointing to his friend in the next chair. "But," says boy #2, "he did it first!"

Ah ha, I thought. A teaching opportunity ready-made! "Guess what," says I. "In everything you have a choice. And here you can choose to let it go so no one else gets hurt, or to react and hurt back."

He thought about it for a moment before responding, "I'd rather react and get him back."

I chuckled and said, "Yes, but when you react most often you get in trouble too, and more people get hurt."

Little did I realize this would become the theme of the day. Our ward is struggling with a heavy load, all surrounding a small group of people who are reacting to a troublesome situation, rather than acting in a way we've been taught by the Savior. Gossip and rumors are running rampant through a group of people who have, up to now, been a very loving entity. And my poor, sweet, gentle husband - as the spiritual leader to both parties - is in the thick of it.

Due to a childish need to react to the situation, both parties have said and done things that have only served to make the situation even worse, neither wanting to admit fault and both thinking the other to be guilty. Not only are they looking to find other members who will believe them all innocent, but they're wanting their bishop to take sides as well. Things are so bad one of the parties involved went home today in tears.

Amid all this I was experiencing my own problem with a friend and ward member. It's true she has quite a potty mouth, but lately I seem to be surrounded by people with potty mouths. On Facebook - one of my favorite places to go and enjoy some relaxing time online - several people have gotten worse when it comes to swearing and crudeness. It may not seem like a big deal to others, but I am incredibly affected by the words others say. After hearing a group of schoolgirls go at it for several minutes, I found myself unable to pull out of the dark feeling that had come upon me for days.

So imagine how hard it was for me to be affronted by some less than sweet words on Facebook first thing in the morning, and by a family member no less. There was no way to put it nicely, but I couldn't take another nasty word, so I asked my friends and family to please watch their language.

My friend took this far too personally, believing I had not so subtly singled her out. I felt so bad and was ready to apologize when I saw a post she'd put up, using my own words to make fun of me, and inadvertently inviting certain of her friends to make fun as well. I was devastated. A various array of nasty responses came to my mind throughout the day, but I didn't have the heart to say anything to her - a good thing, as it turns out. The very next night was our ward Christmas party. We spent the evening ignoring each other, which ripped my heart out. Hers as well, though neither of us had the time nor courage to do anything about it then.

And then comes today. By the time I walked into our main meeting too many bad things had happened due to not hashing out problems and coming to the truth. People were getting hurt - people who didn't have anything to do with the original problem - and all because individuals were reacting, going with their gut instinct to hurt back, rather than face the situation head on.

So when I saw my friend, I went up to her and gave her a big hug, telling her how sorry I was because I knew I had hurt her feelings. I let her know she wasn't the only one, and that if I'd had a problem with just her I would have come to just her. We took a few moments to re conciliate, but by the time I left both of us felt so much better! All because I chose how to act in the situation, rather than react to the hurt.

My friends, there is too much hate in this world for us to hang on to the awful things others inflict on us. You'd better believe when the time comes these individuals will have to tell their Lord and Savior why they chose to do what they did. But you know what? So will we! Christ led a life of consistently turning the other cheek. He even blessed those who intended him harm (healing the ear of the soldier who was to take him away). Can we honestly stand before Him and feel justified in saying, "But this is what he/she did!"

When we react to situations, other people get hurt, and we don't leave feeling better. When we think about how to act - all the while keeping our Savior in mind - the hurt can stop with us, and we can live with a clear conscience.

I dedicate this post to my father, whose words many years ago has stuck with me and been witnessed today: it's how we act, not react, in a situation who tells who we really are.


Burwell's Bits said...

I am the same way with the language thing. It has been a little challenging lately with Caleb saying his favorite thing, "truck" all the time but he says fruck and sometimes drops the R. Ouch.

So sorry about the challenges in ward. This refining fire of life that we all have to live can be so hard. Our hearts and prayers are with you and the ward.

Team Jensen said...

Oh Laurie! I wish there were something I could do to help...anywhere. You are an amazing woman and a great example to us all. Keep plugging along and staying strong in your faith!