Taking the Shot
Have you ever been verbally attacked? What about the opinionated responses you get when there is a problem?
Something inside of you begins to churn; thoughts and feelings become animistic when you respond or reply to the person who has created this offense.
It’s not fair, right?
You will face moments like these in your life. I have personally experienced moments of anger, frustration, and wounding during these times that I would have rather avoided. Yet avoiding these times will never resolve the issue. There is a solution to all of this.
One of the very first things you should realize when confronted by someone who is expressing something negative is this:
I am not the problem.
When someone demonstrates a negative behavior toward you, they are dealing with areas that are internal, and you are the person they feel they can express it toward. You are the one taking the shot. “But that is not fair” you say. I agree with you, it is not fair; and Jesus would agree with you as He stands alongside you during the barrage of words and the attitudes of those who are struggling. You are the point person and within this is an opportunity to see something that Father God desires to see in each of us; actions of a son or daughter who will rely on what He is saying and doing in each and every incident that is before us.
I recall an incident that took place where I was confronted by a person who was completely obstinate about an issue in the workplace. A problem occurred within his department and because he would not consider other’s opinions or suggestions he was constantly fighting to complete the tasks within his department. As I was standing in an aisle-way, he walked forcefully toward me and I knew beyond any doubt there was a problem. Stopping in front of me, he released a liturgy of words that were harsh and critical.
At this point, I had two choices: I can respond in a defensive mode because, after all, why is this person getting into my face, giving me a verbal thrashing that I did not ask for or deserve?
Do I allow myself to become caught up in his moment?
The second is this: listen.
I listened to what he was saying, not in the manner that it was presented.
If at any time we allow ourselves to become caught up in someone else’s turmoil, we hinder our ability to become effective in helping the person…not necessarily with their problem, but the moment that they are caught up in.
Jesus handled these things providing for us an example of how to remain in a place of authority without a defensive demonstration that many believe is normal within our culture. In John chapter 8, when the woman is caught in adultery, Jesus refuses to become caught up in the emotional tirade that is taking place. Anger and confusion will steer any of us away from the real issue.
What does Father God want to say about this and how would He like us to proceed?
What was my response? Nothing…at least for the moment with my reason being this: if I were to react right away, I would react out of my own emotion. My body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice would reveal I am in a defensive mode. So, what did I do?
I listened to what the problem was, but even more so, I was waiting for a shift in his behavior. Because I was not responding to his behavior, I noticed his voice changed and his body language shifted. This was my moment – I could feel Father saying “Now” – and I was able to repeat back to him what the problem was. He looked at me and said, “Yeah, that’s what happened.” Now the atmosphere is beginning to shift as I maintain a countenance that is bringing both peace and clarity to what was chaos only a few moments ago. Why? I did what Jesus would do: I needed to see past the behavior into the real problem.
The majority of the times that I have responded in this manner, I have seen the same results time and again. While there will always be exceptions, I have learned how to do this through trial and error. This is a learned trait taught to us by the Holy Spirit when we are willing to “take the shot.” The end result is a satisfaction that comes after the fact for everyone involved. The next day, when this man approached me, you would have thought I was his best buddy. Little did he realize Father God was in control all of the time.
Take the time, take the shot, and watch yourself and your environment become transformed.
Mike Worth is a member of New Day Community Church. Mike, and his wife Mona, planted a church in the Summerville area in 2004, pastoring that church for 8 years. Both he and Mona have been involved in ministry since 1995. Mike has also worked in the foundry industry for well over 30 years. Currently, Mike is working on several books with the current book, “Closing the Church Doors…With Honor.” Mike and Mona have two sons, with one grandchild on the way.