Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Scene of the Crime: an organization where I am a volunteer

Public Enemy No. 1 (PEN1): a fellow volunteer

The Victim: ME!

The Crime: I was grievously offended by remarks made by PEN1 after a discussion over a project that I am currently involved in.

If you know me well, you know that I don't care for confrontation (as in, I avoid it at all costs). A fellow volunteer made several remarks to me that I found to be inappropriate for the setting we were in, and while they weren't about me specifically, they were directed at me. My feelings weren't hurt, really, but I was PO'd about how she spoke to me. My mind was reeling, and before I could make any sort of good comeback (let's be honest here, the Art of the Comeback isn't really my specialty. I tend to sound like a three-year-old going "Nuh-uh!!"), I made a hasty retreat to my car, where I immediately texted my friend to tell her I was coming over stat. After all the reallys and the come on, I CANNOT believe she said that along with the who does that??, I smugly went home. Where I called another friend. Then told my husband when he got home from work.  After that, I told about eight other people who are also involved in the organization I volunteer for. I mean, it's not gossip if I'm speaking the truth...right??

I've thought about it on and off since "the incident", and the only thing that challenges me more than shooting my mouth off to anyone who will listen (obviously, they have to be people who will be on my side, or else it's pointless to go around shooting one's mouth off) is determining that I will keep my wits about me when I see PEN1 again. And I will see her again, no doubt about it.

I've been trying to decide how to handle the next interaction I have with her. It's been boiled down to three:

A) Be a complete snob, completely ignore her, her remarks, her next-of-kin, people who talk to her, roll my eyes at her, and generally be very passive-aggressive in my dealings with her. This is probably my favorite choice because it's the one I know how to do the best.

B) Refuse to work with her.

C) Follow the advice in my latest bible study and not let offenses get the best of me. Ugh. Ugh. UGH. NOT the one I want to follow, but...

There is something to be said for not being a contrite, contrary and all-around disagreeable person, because it doesn't just benefit the people I'm trying to connect with. It also keeps my heart from becoming cold and bitter from keeping anger locked inside.

Proverbs 29:8 says that a wise person turns away from anger. That's not to say that I can't be angry, but I think it's a careful warning to be aware of holding on to your anger.

Update: I did see PEN1, and the offense got the best of me. I just chose not to speak to her or really acknowledge that she was in the room, which was easy because there were so many other people present. Sigh. God's Word can be challenging to follow, and I'm not always mature enough to act on what I know (even though I know better). Sometimes I just act on what I feel instead. However, this isn't an open and shut case. I'll keep praying, and I know that God is faithful. He'll show me the right way, and one day, I'll have the spiritual maturity to act on it.

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