I had it wrong for a long time. Perhaps we all did. Tabitha Brown and Standing Up for Yourself
As a Jesus lovin, church goin’, lady saint, I thought that meant you had to smile at everyone no matter how they treated you and keep turning cheeks until you couldn’t turn cheeks no mo’. The world depends on you to show love and so you must do so at all times, even when it is at the expense of yourself sometimes.
This is not entirely untrue, but it is not completely true, either.
As a recovering shy person and an introvert who was scared of confrontation, however, I took this to mean that I was unable to speak up about certain things and the more loving thing to do was just let the offending party go on about their life while I took the brunt of their behavior because I could handle it. I had Jesus after all.
Over the years I have witnessed the opposite approach: strong women in my life who, if you do something out of pocket, will cuss you out, make you feel dumb – they will tell you about yourself, your mamma, your sister, and her best friend until you want to hide under a table and pretend it’s a time machine so you can go back to the moment just before you said what you said or did what you did. Tabitha Brown and Standing Up for Yourself
In many ways I admired that. I wished I was like that – A bit bolder. Stronger. Able to read someone for filth in a single breath.
But that is not who we were called to be as women of faith. We are not a “I’ma match the same energy you give me” people. Neither person described above is, in fact.
Here’s where Auntie Tabs comes in. If you don’t know this honey-voiced, peach of an influencer, get to know her. I am not vegan, but she makes me almost think about wanting to be one every time I see her videos.
Earlier this week, a media personality who doesn’t know Ms Brown said some negative and unnecessary things about her and her marriage. As a fellow married, I can tell you that if you talk about me, it will likely hurt my feelings but it’s whatever. I’m probably not going to give my energy to it. If you talk about my husband…we might have to talk about you. Tabitha Brown and Standing Up for Yourself
Tabitha Brown, clearly feeling the same way, did a thing that I have never in my life seen done so successfully – she gave homegirl a holy read. The holiest. From cover to cover. And it was beautiful.
We are called to walk in love and not respond the way the world does.
But we are also to be bold. Nowhere does the Word call us to be pushovers – that’s a horrible witness to a powerful God.
So where is the line, then? It’s actually spelled out beautifully for us in Ephesians 4(TPT):
26 But don’t let the passion of your emotions[p] lead you to sin! Don’t let anger control you or be fuel for revenge, not for even a day. 27 Don’t give the slanderous accuser, the Devil, an opportunity to manipulate you! 28 If any one of you has stolen from someone else, never do it again. Instead, be industrious, earning an honest living, and then you’ll have enough to bless those in need.
29 And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts[q] that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.
30 The Holy Spirit of God has sealed you in Jesus Christ until you experience your full salvation. So never grieve the Spirit of God or take for granted his holy influence in your life.[r] 31 Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. 32 But instead be kind[s] and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.
The way to deal with people who say things that make us want to karate chop them in the neck is counter-culture and counter-intuitive for some of us. But that’s what being renewed and transformed sounds like. We don’t get to put our salvation on the shelf real quick while we handle someone and then go back to being Christ-like. We also don’t get to cower and hide from all confrontation. The Word gives us a guide on how to handle our bidness – and Auntie Tabs gave us a master class of a demonstration.
So if ever you are in a situation where someone is just begging for a read – ask the Holy Spirit for help & discernment and read them to righteousness, honey.