My dad always watched the boxing and wrestling matches as I was growing up. I got very familiar with the two-minute warning, the bells, the Von Ericks, and the Dallas Sportitorium. And he’d use the opportunity to explain to my brother how to dodge the blow and how to take a hit.
No, he didn’t teach me such things, though he did let me drive the golf cart a few times. Still, I find there’s a great lesson in learning to take bombardment, a great revelation in the responses to such.
The blow can come from any number of directions:
- business associates who want to rise above you
- loved ones whose well-meaning suggestions can bring you to your knees
- friends going through a difficult time and needing a vent
- acquaintances or even strangers making slights or remarks that reflect on your choices or character
Here in North Texas, I can tell from the direction of the wind whether we’ll be enjoying cold or hot weather, well at least for a couple of hours. The same is true with this type of blow. When you can eliminate your emotions enough to recognize the origin of the attack, you can figure out how to react to the hit. Tweet this!
Eliminating the emotions is key, though all-but impossible sometimes. Thought comes from one side of the brain and emotions come from the opposite direction. When emotions are in control, clear cognition is difficult. So it’s important to receive the hit with grace, remaining objective, so you can evaluate the situation and decide on a response. Rather than allowing the natural reaction to be in charge.
Addressing the source of a blow directs a response. Tweet This
- Acquaintances or strangers could be dealing with all sorts of things. Likely you have nothing to do with their distress or frustration You just happened to be in the way. Chances are, your response could bring healing and make a huge difference in the life of a stranger. I’ll never forget an encounter I had a a grocery store with my young daughter. A very angry man apologized to me, a bystander, for cussing in front of my girl. I smiled and told him I thought he must have had a rough day. I swear I saw tears well up in his eyes. I asked him if I could pray for him and when he nodded, I laid my hand on his shoulder, right there in the grocery line, and prayed peace and comfort on him. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the person praying wasn’t me. I don’t have that kind of courage. But a bustling Kroger silenced for a moment or two.
- Sometimes friends get into the same boat. Once in a while, a loved one can lash out because of pain. They need distraction, but don’t know how to feel something else. A person in pain has limited tolerance and patience. Recognizing that situation gives opportunity to get to the root of the problem. Sometimes the greatest friend can be the one that accepts the “fight” in order to benefit and divert the loved one from the enduring pain.
- Criticism, even from a loved one hurts. When the blow comes from this direction, it’s so easy to get caught up in a pity party. Usually the spoken words are true and from a sincere, well-meaning source. Ignoring them merely denies growth and improvement. Realizing the purpose and evaluating the motivation behind the correction can not only aid in accepting the truth, but in taking action to make sure the errors don’t remain.
- Those business associates who want to use you as a ladder rung are a little harder. Their message is pointed and purposeful in destroying reputations, claiming credit, and furthering private agendas. How do you deal with someone like that? I work from home, but I’ve dealt with this type of person, too. Likely everyone has once or twice. I probably didn’t deal with my situation the best, but I did layer on a lot of prayer and still do. The hard part is praying blessings on the person, not just conviction or vengeance! But praying blessings on the person, and meaning it (though I had a couple of weeks of prayers asking God to help me mean it!) is crucial in avoiding bitterness. Who knows how your reaction will affect the other person, but your reaction will certainly affect you. This is the point of the verse, “In your anger do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26.
So that’s my take on the path: Eliminate emotions, distinguish the origin of the attack, respond with grace according to the needs of the attacker. I know; easier said than done!
Your turn: What other types of hits or hitters might someone encounter?