|Image from Jeremy Simon|
Great greeting! It was motivating, challenging, and engaging. I was asked to share some good advice.
I just came from church where my husband preached about blessing God, seeking Him, and trusting Him when we are in the midst of struggles and trials. We sang in church about glorifying God in our lives, our church, and our hearts. I intended to have something sage that would bring a zen-like explosion of epiphany to his and my day. I intended to use a profound quote that I have read or at least pinned on my Pinterest account. I intended a lot of things. Unfortunately, what came out of my mouth was: "Try not to punch anyone in the face."
Yes. That, my friends, was my wise advice.
"Try not to punch anyone in the face."
Let's sink in how "Get off my lawn" that advice is. As I was shaking my head and once again asking God if He drank when He made me, I was even more convinced that the Holy Spirit in constantly doing a facepalm because of me. Then He did a mini-miracle. I realized that it wasn't such bad advice after all. Stay with me. Seriously. Just try to stay with me.
1) You are responsible for your own actions. Getting to the point of wanting to punch someone in the face may be inevitable or even uncontrollable. However, how you respond when you get there is your choice. You have to own how you react to your surroundings and your situation, especially when they push you to a corner, to the place where you can lose control. Try to maintain your wits about you. Keep those balled fists by your side. Don't follow through on that white-knuckled emotion. Own it. If you follow through on that punch, it is because you made the choice. No one raised your hands up and punched anyone for you. No one MADE you do it. You CHOSE to do it.
2) Your feelings are valid. Your anger and frustration are valid. There is a reason why you feel that way. You were probably wronged. You were probably hurt. Heck, you were probably absolutely ticked off. That's valid. Just because you don't punch someone in the face doesn't mean your feelings are invalid. We all experience that. Jesus experienced that.
3) Walk away. They may deserve countless punches and to even be knocked out, but it's okay to end the fight by not engaging in one. Don't get me wrong. There's a difference between running from a fight and walking away from one. It isn't cowardly to step away from the situation to get better perspective. When your emotions are overblown, walk away. You can still stand up for yourself without having to throw a punch. Sometimes, there's a better tactic. That's when you pray, you seek counsel, and you gain perspective.
Try not to get punched in the face. It may not be the most eloquent advice. It may be awkwardly from the hip, but that was what came out of my mouth. God may not perform magnificent miracles for me, but I'm glad that He performs little ones that turn my blunders into blessings.
As for that guy who asked for my advice, lucky for me, he laughed and said, "Yeah. That's a good one."