“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16, NKJV)
I’ve always been bothered by my emotional response to people, situations, and things. Mostly because people were quick to give their opinion about how they perceive me. There is a self-consciousness that is driven by insecurities; then, there is one that is driven by introspection and a felt need to examine oneself before responding. Some people call that being an introvert, I happen to believe it is not such a narrow definition.
In my response to everything, there has always been a desire to do better where I should and the temptation to retaliate because my feelings have been hurt. I’ve been accused of being passive aggressive, which is probably because I have at times yielded to the spirit of offense and retaliation.
The closer I get to Christ and the clearer I see His Kingdom, the more self-conscious I am. Will you then accuse me of being insecure? What if my actions are driven by the need to adhere to one of the basic principles Jesus taught; to remove any existing plank from my eye before pointing to the speck in yours (Matt 7:3-5). Is that then insecurity?
I have learned that much of my responses to situations have been an attempt to examine myself. It is how I express myself when I want to make sure my responses are appropriate and God honoring. Am I wrong? Why, because that’s not how you would respond? But didn’t you also say we are not all created with the same emotional nature?
God has created a world filled with diversity; this includes a diversity of personalities at all levels of society. Your way is not the only way, nor is mine. He created us to be in relationships, probably because He knew we will need each personality to have the appropriate balance in our efforts; especially in this fallen world.
So who do we hurt the most when we succumb to the desire to retaliate? Who do we offend when we yield to a spirit that is anathema to Christ? I submit that the spirit we yield to is the spirit we serve. This is why I internalize things and pray; I yield to the Holy Spirit and should therefore express myself in accordance with Him. If my thoughts, words, and deeds do not glorify God I am simply glorifying myself. If I glorify myself I sever my relationship with God. If my retaliation is aimed at another, it is not them that I harm; I am in danger of harming myself because God is not glorified in it.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”