Want Some Gasoline with Your Fire?
“I don’t know what to do,” I whined to my mom. “She keeps going ‘thbbbbbpppt’ in my face and spraying me with spit. I just hate it.”
“Slap her,” she said.
Shocked at this suggestion, I winced at the thought.
“You must slap this girl. Full across the face. HARD. She will keep doing this to you unless you make her stop,” she said.
Fourth grade social interactions left me confused and frustrated. Why couldn’t kids be nice? I barely knew this girl, and yet she sought me out on the playground, day after day, to stick her tongue out at me and spray my face in spit as she made the blubbery noise.
“You tell her tomorrow that if she does it again, you’re going to hit her. And then that’s what you do,” Mother said. “I’ll ask you about it after school.”
Oh good grief.
So now, I had to decide if I was more afraid of disappointing my mother, or standing up to this girl.
I was more afraid of my mother.
So I walked up to “Jeanie” the next day, and said to her, “If you spit at me again, I’m going to hit you. My mom says I can.”
Well, you know what she did.
Like some gasoline for your fire?
And then I had to slap her.
So I did.
Right across the face, open handed, leaving a slight red mark on her cheek, although my hand didn’t sting, and I’m sure her pride was wounded more than she was.
After recess, the other kids whispered about me. Everyone paid me a little more respect. I find that interesting now, looking back.
At the time, I just felt nauseous!
I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. When I inquired about God, I was sent up the hill, alone, to attend Sunday service in the closest church.
Of course I only went once.
And at one point, I decided that I was an atheist, but I won’t go into all that now. Suffice it to say, it’s no longer true!
So yesterday, in my post about the Proverbs 31 woman that I reposted, I hinted that I might blog about slapping this girl, and so I wasn’t surprised when I ran across this in Proverbs 9 today:
7 “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
I was neither wise, nor a believer, and the action I took certainly wasn’t loving.
I invited insult.
And I wonder, how many of our interactions in the average day do the same? Whenever we respond with criticism, we are judging someone else. God is very clear about this not being our job:
Romans 14:10 “Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.
(12) And so each of us shall give an account of himself – give an answer in reference to judgment – to God.
(13) Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.” (The Amplified Bible)
As for me, I’m going to try to go through this day being gentle and kind, bringing a cup of water to those in need, which is nearly everyone I come in contact with. I’ll need the help of the Holy Spirit to do this, because left to my own flesh, I’d probably just as easily do the opposite.
And there’s a huge plank in my own eye, anyway.
So I have no business slapping anyone, neither physically nor verbally. J
Dare you to join me. J
Double dog dare you to join us for the Daughters of Sarah® class in Cincinnati in January…Faith Church in Milford is hosting it, just 12 weeks on Sunday morning at 9:15am-10:30am, so you can grab church before or after. More info at the meetings on December 11 or December 18th (just come to one – we’ll need to get your materials ordered for you).
If you’ve taken the class, need a refresher, want to mentor other women, or just want to work on being a Biblical wife, we’d love to have you join us. Materials costs only – the bracelet is optional, and it’s a small group format, so there’s no public presentations, either. We’re trying to work a deal on the books, also, so we get them for much cheaper than if you got them yourselves, and chances are you already have them. More info on Facebook® here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=196470387093778 – and this class won’t wait list people – we can take as many as can sign up!
Triple dog dare you to share with friends and do the class with the gals from your small group – we can’t wait to see what God will do, and it’s the one time we’ll be doing it this way. J We’re setting it up to tape it so it’s available to other churches – and we’ll keep you posted about how that works (and no, your “stuff” won’t be on video! J)
At the very least, please pray for us – this is a huge project and we’re really looking forward to whatever He turns it into. J Just feeling privileged to be on the journey with you all… J
Love to you,
Thx for sharing! I like your authenticity. Keep up the good work Nina!
Thanks for the encouragement, Lisa – 🙂 It’s greatly appreciated! 🙂
I use to be a recess supervisor for grades K through 8th. The 3rd and 4th graders were always at war with each other, a lot of personality conflicts creating friction. I remember my mom advising me once in college, ” telling a little white lie won’t hurt you”, But I have always regretted following my mother’s direction on that issue. I was bullied quite a bit too. Bullying is never easy to navigate as a child or an adult. Giving a warning was wise advice on your mother’s part. Confronting it usually stops it (for the non-sociopathic individual). bullyonline.org is a helpful tool for those wrestling with it. Their basic premise is “Those who can, do; those who can’t, bully”. So the question must be asked,….(rebuke me if my curiosity is out of line) did she make the blubbery noise in your face again?
Oh, yah, totally stopped the behavior. 🙂
I like to confront bullying behavior and am not conflict avoidant now, but whoa nelly was it bad in elementary school!
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