All my life, I have heard the phrase, “Be kind. You never know what someone might be going through.” I believe people think of a particular type when they use this statement. They do not think of people like me. They do not think that a confident, educated person, and what some see as successful, is going through anything; they don’t think someone like me needs others to be kind. But I do! I do because I, just like you, face attacks.
Confident people try hard to hold life together for themselves and others. Early in life, we are taught that we can handle anything. We have somehow bought into the narrative, “What does not kill you makes you stronger.” We are taught to stand up in the face of controversy and not allow others to get to us. The truth is, I think people like me get tired of standing and fighting our battles in quiet only to be attacked in public. That’s no fun at all.
Lately, I have had to face the cruel reality that sometimes, when people seem to be okay, they are not. I am not a naive person, and I have lived long enough to know that everything and everyone may not be what they present to others, but it is still shocking to the system when you come face-to-face with this reality. To go head-to-head with people you respect is no fun. I found myself in the middle of a war. The situation was so irrational that I honestly did not know how to navigate erratic behavior, disruption, and personal attacks. I wanted to lash out but had to think about professional comportment and spiritual responsibility. Aren’t I suppose to turn the other cheek, am I supposed to fight back?
Jesus told us to turn the other cheek. Matthew 5:38-42 says, “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Oh wow, that’s pretty clear.
There are so many Bible passages that tell me not to worry because God’s got me covered. He has told me many times not to be a coward but to be courageous and not lose heart. However, when I have to face evil, my spirit faints. I shake at the core, and my anxiety level goes through the roof!
Yet, I have also noticed that those moments when I am scared only last a little while. As soon as I get my footing, I run to the Word for support. The Word of God fuels my faith, and I am ready for the next thing. I tell myself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I remind myself of Joshua 1:9, which says, ” Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Or Deuteronomy 31:6,8, which says, “Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them because the Lord your God goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
You see, there are many scriptures of support in the Word of God. The more I repeat them to myself, the more I can feel my strength rising. I can see my countenance change from anxiety, defeat, and cowardice to one of courage, confidence, and calm, trusting that He is with me whatever I face, and He will defend me.
What battles are you fighting today? What person or situation has you up at night wondering what you will do or how you will handle your next attack? Instead of worrying about the person or thing, turn your worry into worship. Join me as I stop worrying about what someone might say or do to try and hurt me, to thank God for protecting me where He placed me for the time He has called me.