Monday, July 02, 2007

Rob Bell...third way?

It's very hard to try to explain in any way how wonderful it was to hear Rob Bell speak without doing it any justice. All I can say was that he has inspired, blessed and challenged me. He spoke for an hour and a half without any pieces of paper or notes in front of him, and I could have sat there all night listening to him. Thomas has blogged in far better detail than I ever could on his blog so please check that out...but the one thing amongst many that stood out...was this "third way" thing!

In life we react to things mostly in two ways. We either let someone walk all over us and humiliate us and do nothing about it....keep allowing ourselves to be humiliated, or go to the other extreme, of reacting back in as equally if not worse an act than was was thrown at doing so making ourselves just as bad if not worse than the aggressor.

Rob spoke about how wonderful it would be if the world tried to find a third way of dealing with situations such as these. Jesus was the best at finding third ways. Diffusing situations where people where desperately trying to irritate Him...where people were trying to accuse Him of breaking some sort of law.... God's law!....where people tried to bring Jesus down.....He found a third way...He found a way of diffusing it all without allowing people to humiliate Him or drag Him down or worst of all allow people to say that He wasn't who He claimed to be...The Son of God...the Messiah! Yet He did it with such class! He didn't just walk away from the situation and just give up, but yet neither did He retaliate in the same manner as what was done to Him.....He found a third way, and in doing so, didn't lose face. He put his point across with such great authority and with such clarity that the disgruntled people were left at times speechless and with the ball well and truly being out of their court.

I really feel that for most people, finding a third way in which to react to a situation, especially one that comes unexpected and fast, is incredibly hard! We usually react quickly in one out of the two ways...and I desperately need to find a way of letting this third way of reacting come naturally to me. When I look back over my life and even at this very moment in my life I feel that I allow or have allowed people to put me down which is really in essence trying to humiliate me. It may be that they are unaware of what they are doing, yet it hurts. How do I deal with it. Well in my past I have usually "sucked it up" and as I don't like confrontation and animosity particularly much, I usually just smile and pretend I don't mind, and then go home upset about it...knowing full well that if I allowed myself to respond in the other way it would only be to my own shame the next day when I remember back to how I let it rip!

Tonight I was in a situation with someone who I have been struggling with for a while with the odd condescending remark being thrown at me here and there for the last few months, and another situation was starting to happen again! And I really felt such an anger welling up in me and I would have let it rip, because it's been building up to a climax for such a long time. Instead I answered back as honestly as I could without being rude or retaliating in the same manner, and then excused myself from the company.

I felt quite peaceful when heading home, in that for me I had found the third way in that particular situation. Normally I would have just laughed it off in some way, or in feeling the way that I did tonight would have said something that I would deeply have regretted, and in doing so would have only let myself down. So I answered pleasantly but still firmly and got myself out.

Hopefully I have let that particular individual see that it's not on to keep trying to put me down...that it's not acceptable, but also in doing what I did, may they also have seen that I didn't return the same behaviour. In doing so I hope that the individual tonight may realise that maybe he/she had went to far and maybe as Rob Bell said...allow them to change their behaviour and change their mind about how they behave in the future.

We are only human...I'm only human! I get frustrated, angry and fed up like everyone else, but I never want to let my Lord down. I never want through some burst of what seems like righteous anger to ever hurt someone, even when I feel hurt myself. I want desperately to be able to put this third way of "reaction" into "action" in my life. I really need God's peace to reside in me in difficult times. I need to feel a real "shalom" with Him.

Make me a channel of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me bring you love;
Where there is injury, your healing pow'r,
And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace:
Where there's despair in life let me bring hope;
Where there is darkness, - only light,
And where there's sadness, ever joy.

O Spirit, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consolded as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love with all my soul - .

Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all that we receive,
And in dying that we're born to eternal life.


Posted by littlelaughalot :: 10:07 pm :: 3 Comments:

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