It started out as a funny text messaging conversation, then it turned into venting and before I knew it I lost my friend. I was shocked and dazed at the same time. Where did this venom come from? What did I do to deserve this? How did she transfer all of her negative emotions to me? I had become the victim of misplaced anger.
My friend was going through it and as she started venting to me, I started making suggestions and having “an answer” but that’s not what my friend wanted. She wanted me to LISTEN. After I made a comment or two I was chastised about how she did not want my advice, she only wanted me to listen. After I let her know that I was now angry, I put down my phone fuming. I think I saw smoke coming from my ears. I wasn’t upset about what she said as much as I was about the timing. Although I am not a big fan of criticism, I can take it; however, coming to me when you are angry with someone else ticks me off. I was officially HOT!
The next day my friend apologized for her rudeness but things didn’t go back to normal. I was still mad. As a matter of fact, I tried to talk to her about it two days later letting her know where she went wrong but I couldn’t shake the anger I was feeling. After I sat and thought about it, this isn’t the first time that someone brought up my ability to listen. Often I get it confused because I have some friends that if I don’t say anything they think that something is wrong; however, that wasn’t the situation with this friend.
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. “ (Matthew 18:15 KJV)
As I moped around with these negative thoughts consuming my mind, the spirit spoke to me and asked “Why are YOU mad?” Although you could not control the time or the place, your sister came to you and told you how you offended her. You are so caught up in her timing that you have missed the message. I realized that the problem wasn’t her, it was I. In my quest to be helpful, I misjudged what my friend needed at that time. She needed an ear not a preacher. I called her and begged her pardon and I have gained my sister back.
“My dear brothers and sisters take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19 NIV)
In this circumstance, I did everything opposite of what we were instructed to do in His word. Sometimes there is purpose in being still and just LISTENING. We don’t have to have the answer. This reminds me that even in the time I spend with Him, I don’t have to always talk but I should focus more on hearing from Him. Only in my silence will I truly understand the message.
Thank You for helping me realize that I don’t always have the answers and even when I do, there is a time and a place to share them. Help me to be a better friend and to be able to discern what my friends need when they need it. Remind me that it isn’t all about me finding a solution or giving my advice but it’s about me being there and taking the time to listen. Thank You for listening to me and help me be a better listener to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to LISTEN. Even in the midst of confusion and anger, I encourage you to be silent. Don’t miss the message because it didn’t show up in a way that you thought it should. If your sister tells you how you’ve offended her, instead of becoming angry take heed and move forward. Remember the old cliché: you were blessed with two ears and one mouth so listen twice as much as you speak.
Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”