I think the devil has a very cunning way of getting us to do the exact thing we said we would not, whats funny about it is how we sometimes convince ourselves of having thought through whatever it is and made the best loving and logical decision.
I remembered this morning how I use to prepare myself subconsciously with come-backs (a response to someone who has said something unpleasant to you). Like I would have the entire conversation play out in my head in advance and prepare myself for what to reply and at what point. So in my mind, I had done the right thing by ‘thinking before responding‘, I was not responding in haste but from thought, however that thought was merely preparing my attack, not even taking a defence, both of which was wrong when it came to dealing with people.
Similarly, I was speaking with someone yesterday about something I had posted on social media that she had contrary thoughts on and she started with “I wanted to come say it to you personally here before a stranger will insult me and I won’t take it”, so after she shared what she wanted, I responded starting with a quote of her ‘I won’t take it’, so she could buttress further and she went deeper saying that if someone came for her, she was definitely going back for them, so to avoid that, she privately messaged me.
Together with this and my remembrance of the past, I realised how ‘self’ is set to ‘attack’ by default. We aren’t programmed to love first when faced with anything unpleasant, we’re mostly programmed to defend and then attack, which only explains why we think through our comebacks before they happen and shield ourselves from the attack of people so we don’t also attack back.
For the beginning part of my christian journey, I deceived myself into thinking that the more I stay on my own, the less likely i’ll be to sin, I won’t need to receive or give offence, so it was like ‘Lone wolf speaking only when spoken to’. This meant I was limiting my social interactions and also my reach to people who I was suppose to be light and salt to. I didn’t realise then that the test of our faith is when we’re faced with the exact things that could cause us to fall and then we overcome. Anything that is not tested cannot be proven.
I cannot be claiming to be something or someone without being tested on it. Interactions with people always brings that test, it’s where we learn patience, kindness, gentleness but ultimately, unconditional love.
We have to reset our defaults to ‘love’, we have to submit to the Holy Spirit to the point where we really don’t mind being attacked, all were concerned about is giving love, even though it means us being trampled upon. We also need to know that we cannot run away from that which is meant to grow us. Christianity does not mean limiting social interaction, it is even more a call to go and distribute love anywhere and at any time.