Lay Aside the Urge to be Impulsive

I received an Instagram message request from a stranger judging me for being a Christian and a feminist. The message contained biblical verses to make their point – but I rejected it.

I was on the receiving end of an old friend’s hypocrisy. It was hurtful and confusing – but I got over it without addressing it.

I sat and watched a woman I know, who has had multiple abortions, use social media to bash other women who want the freedom to have abortions – this, of all things, made me angry.

I witnessed someone, who boasts about their faith and love for people, engage in a judgmental argument with an atheist – this was the cherry on top.

Not only did this all happen within days of each other, it was caused by Christians and in each circumstance, I have had moments in which I have wanted to be impulsive with my words, in defense of those they have hurt, including myself. I have wanted to respond back to give them a taste of their own medicine and I have wanted to hurt their feelings right back.

But, I had to learn to lay aside those instinctive urges.

Every.

Single.

Time.

I wish I could say I learned to tame my impulsive reactions when faced with such situations years ago, but I didn’t. It’s a new concept for me, I have to admit.

The world we live in and the state of our nation, especially during the last few months has stirred in me the need to let my voice be heard. I naturally don’t back down from anything offensive or hurtful but when the news, our world, and people around us are constant noise, what good is it for me to be another angry voice? What do I accomplish by lashing right back at the person who has hurt me? To the hypocrite who’s giving Christianity a bad name?

I've learned there’s no good to be found because noise doesn’t drive out noise and an angry-filled response defeats the purpose of establishing peace.

As someone who constantly tells God to help me control my thoughts, actions, reactions, motives, words, and behaviors, I’m finding myself taking a deep breath before resisting the urge to throw verbal punches. It’s one of the most difficult things I deal with.

But as someone who knows her place, and won’t stand for hate, judgments toward others, and pettiness wrapped in hypocrisy, allow me to clarify a few things:

To the person who messaged me: I’m allowed to be a Christian and believe in women’s rights. Being a feminist doesn’t mean I believe in abortion rights, burning my bra, reducing men to nothing and not shaving my underarms to make a statement. Before judging anyone, make an effort to get to know where a person stands on certain issues.

To the old friend who proved to be a hurtful hypocrite: You no longer get to hurt me. I’m fine now and I carry on with a clean heart.

To the woman judging other women: You’re failing to promote the cause of Christ. Please stop.

To the person who fought with an atheist: Don’t be the cause for someone to shun Jesus because of your misrepresentation of who He really is. That type of damage can be irreversible.

In all of this I’ve learned that life and death lie in the power of the tongue, but it’s easier to read in scriptures than to practice it intentionally, and sometimes the best thing one can do to silence a critic is to lay aside our need to spew a mean-spirited response.

It's super difficult but it’s liberating beyond belief – especially when you have the right to react impulsively. 

Let’s attempt to take this on.

Every.

Single.

Time.

Jessica Martinez