Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Choices – No One Can Upset Us

“One's own folly leads to ruin, yet the heart rages against the LORD.” –Proverbs 19:3 (TNIV).

People’s troubles are often (though not always) brought on by themselves. I can recall times in my own life where things went awry and I paid the penalty, occasionally re-learning lessons that I’d previously thought were dealt with… not so much, it seemed.

A step further on from our self-inflicted problems is our response to the consequences or the effects of the problems. Not only has the person involved gotten themselves into a pickle, their heart rages against God and other people in the way, and they have the temerity to blame people with nothing or little to do with it.

It’s actually rather hilarious when this happens (if you’re a fly on the wall). It reminds me of biblical hardliner, Oswald Chambers’ quote about Christians who respond like this... “The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties [e.g. self-pity] because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God.”

The clanging paradox is people vent against God and others when the only appropriate corrective action can come with the opposite deed--to draw near and humbly to God and others.

I used to be easily drawn into protracted arguments with people who, by definition, fell for the folly of their own motives and behaviour. But, it’s like a cesspool though isn’t it? Nobody wins and everyone it seems loses. And the arguments are over nothing at all really.

We alone have complete control over our choices. Saying that someone has upset us is merely an excuse. When we’re blamed by others for messing things up or for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, we need to bear in mind the proverb above.

Notwithstanding our own role in these things, we ought to not be drawn into it. We can see there’s not much of a role for conflict with this approach.

Deflecting the blame upon others is something that doesn’t warrant a response other than to respond adultly, assertively keeping the peace, then extracting oneself from the situation.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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