On our way over to California from Auckland (which I shall remember for the people we had the privilege of spending time with), we officially crossed the geographic halfway mark on our journey around the world.
I thus thought it propper to share what I have learned hitherto. You will agree, however, that the amount of information this ought to amass to will be to vast to remember and apply. And since revelation without application is utterly incompetent, this would render the exposure this journey has brought futile.
I have consequently made the decision (even before we left Namibia – by God's grace) to remember one life changing truth from each country we visit. This reminded me to keep learning. The spinoff, which I did not even expect, is that this provided a very efficient mental filing system: as I learned more on a topic, be it in a different country even, I could "file" it with the corresponding country.
Before I can share what each country symbolizes to me, I must state that I am still learning. By no means do I wish to tell anyone to "do this and that," but rather share what the Lord has showed me. If therefore anyone has more insights into a specific topic, I would welcome a comment. What I wish to pen are nevertheless truths that, when applied, can and will have an immense impact on every life, as it has had on mine in the short time I have had to practice them.
So, Here goes…
Don't file a suit, retaliate in love
This is the topic I have the most trouble with. I am a C D if you know the DISC analysis.
A quick recap:
D - "One way and it's my way"
I - "Anyway is okay"
S - "Anyway that pleases everyone else"
C - "One way and it's the right way"
Therefore a C D (which I am) is someone who believes "One way and it's the right way," as well as "One way and it's my way." This translates into the belief that "My way is the right way!"
Like I said, I struggle with this topic, so please forgive me if it is poorly formulated, communicated and understood. I have given it much thought, though…
In an unpleasant argument, it is only when the second person responds negatively that things grow truly ugly. Proverbs 15:1 (the first verse I ever truly read) states that "a gentle word turns away wrath."
I'm sure everyone agrees with me on this point. But, the problem is applying this in the heat of an erupting argument. I believe that is why God told me in London to "be wrong more."
The fact is that a lot of the times we differ over meaningless issues. Most often it is perfectly OK to lose a dispute. It is, after all, better to lose a battle than lose the war! Don't win a quarrel and lose a relationship!
My recommendation is therefore that whenever an overheated argument erupts: lose! Did you get that? The next time you have an opinion about something and someone else opposes it in a way that matters turn unpleasant…back down. Take a beating.
But, what if the opinion I have is better? The fact is, driving your opinion at the moment (especially if your emotions are flaming up and voices are raised) will probably yield little results and you will probably say something you regret. After you have backed out of the argument (which might mean declaring defeat) and have cooled down, reflect on the other persons opinion. If you still believe your opinion is best and that the matter does at all need further discussion (make sure that you are not selfish), influence the other person. Apply your mind, know how the other party is swayed easiest and kindly influence.
So, when faced with an unpleasant argument:
This same principle can be applied to defending yourself when you are wronged. It is simple: don't! So what if something is said of you that is untrue or you have to do more dishes than your brother (a purely hypothetical example)?! Jesus was accused of being a gluten and drunkard and warned that we would be falsely accused also. Eat it up and retaliate in love! "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who insult you and persecute you" (Mat 5:44)
When you are wronged or your demands are not met or your opinion not accepted, don't take anyone to court…don't file a suit!
What do you think?
Please stay tuned (I've always wanted to say that). The other countries on our track and their corresponding truth will follow eventually…