I recently had the experience of being criticized (to my employer) by someone who took something I said wrongly and felt hurt. I honestly meant no harm, I just wanted to avoid a problem in the future, but the very fact that I mentioned the problem made them feel I was "chastising" them. I am truly sorry they misunderstood me and felt I was beating up on them. I dare not call them because I am sure that the person would think I trying to be argumentative and self-justifying. If they called my employer again, it would really make me a "black sheep". Don't think that when you talk to someone to clear something up that it will go smoothly and well. It could be a disaster even if you mean well and say all the right words. Oftentimes hurt people are not interested in being comforted or consoled, they want "a pound of flesh." If this wasn't work related, I could take the heat. But if they contact my employer again it would be really bad for the company and I just can't take that chance. Anyway, this event caused me quite a lot of consternation and inner turmoil. Someone inferred something I did not imply. This morning I came across a blog post that helped me. I realize now that this difficult circumstance caused me to react wrongly and stirred up a lot of hurt and bitterness. The entire blog post is excellent but the two sentences that really spoke to me were:Amy Carmichael says that nothing anyone can do to to us can injure us unless we allow it to cause a wrong reaction in our spirits. Only our reaction can bless or burn.Reacting and especially over-reacting to wrongs and hurts can make us targets of the devil, and we should not be "ignorant of his devices." Bitterness and resentment can effectively block the love and grace of God in our hearts. I recently read the testimony of someone who was in the Army. This person was unsaved at the time and there was a Christian in his platoon. At night, when all the men were in their bunks trying to go to sleep. Several of the unsaved would hurl a boot at the Christian soldier oftentimes hitting him in the head. In the morning when this particular unsaved soldier awoke, he found his boots beside his bed neatly side-by-side and shined! This ministered to that man so powerfully of the love and grace of God that he soon thereafter gave his life to Christ. God allows difficulties and trials to come to us as opportunities to grow into the image of Christ by trusting in Him and looking away from ourselves. In the moment you die to self (carry your cross) you find the Christ's life becomes your experience (resurrection). This is a work of grace. Not trying to imitate Christ by self-effort, but allowing Him to live in and through us as we yield, abide and rest in Him.Both of these blog posts ministered to me:http://www.canonglenn.com/2010/05/20/your-choice-react-or-respond/http://www.discipleshiptools.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=37254The days are dark and getting darker. We need to learn these lessons now more than ever if we are to persevere and overcome.