“Mature Righteousness”

Recently, I became very comfortable with what I said at work and around whom.  Though an unconscious one, this was not a wise decision.  My words were taken, twisted, and used against me.  First, this happened in the form of a sarcastic confrontation disguised as a professional conversation.  I chose to handle this by venting on facebook.  Bad choice.  My facebook vent  was printed, and thrown in my face (literally) during an angry attack.  This was a new experience for me.  I was not used to the people around me being angry at me, and I certainly wasn’t used to them acting upon their anger that way. 

I did what I felt I should do.  I told the truth and apologized.  This did little to abate the anger, but it was my sincere reaction.  My tender-heartedness would not allow me to react in anger similar to that which I was facing.  If their goal was to bring me down, they had done so — simply by acting that way toward me.  I was crushed.

Since I typically lack confidence, I went home and internalized every little thing that had been said about me, hurt that I had fewer friends than I thought and guilty of being too loose with my mouth.  I felt singled out and alone.  Finally, after stewing and moping all weekend, I began to see God’s hand in this.  He was using this experience not only to make me aware of what I say, but to draw me closer to Him. 

Sunday (which was also my birthday) I began to look at my blessings and realize that I have so much more than I deserve.  I am loved by people here on earth, by my father in Heaven, and most importantly — I am forgiven.  My coworkers might hang onto the things I said (or didn’t say), but God will not.  Through much prayer and reflection, I have grown because of my own talking mistake, and have really learned my lesson.  In doing so, I am closer in my relationship with God. 

2 Timothy 2:23-25 says, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.  Opponents must be gently instructed, in hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.”  When I looked the same passage up in my “Message Bible” for insight, it was here that I found that God wants us to “Run after mature righteousness.”

So much comfort comes in knowing that I responded to this situation in a way that was pleasing to God — by not quarreling and instead using the experience to grow closer to Him.  I feel like I am closer to the “Mature Righteousness” I desire.

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