I won’t bore you all with why the Easy Path is full of pitfalls. How taking the easy way turns into the Hard Path because there are no shortcuts to greatness. One could say the Easy Path is wide while the Hard Path is narrow. Instead, I want to discuss why easy isn’t so easy when it comes to our words. Here’s an example: A co-worker constantly interrupts you and makes seemingly innocent comments. After telling them you need to get back to work and ignoring their comments they don’t stop. So, what is the easy thing to do?
What is the easy thing to do?
Keep ignoring them. Right? Just block them out and cope with them. Pray about it and let God handle them. Don’t give them the reaction they’re fishing for. Choose not to respond. Or communicate with them and try to find a peaceful resolution.
All this is easy. All of this is a good idea. But can you truly say our first reaction isn’t wanting to scream “Leave me alone!” or become passive aggressive? I know for me my first reaction isn’t the easy path in this case. Prayer would be frustrating since I want God to remove them from the office, not learn whatever lesson God wants to teach me. If there is one to be learned at all.
We know there are two paths: Hard and Easy; Narrow and Wide. In this instance, the Narrow path cuts both parties down. It’s a battlefield that ensures a point-blank shot each time. While the Wide give room for understanding. A peaceable outcome with minimal pain. There is space to cool off, to choose not being controlled by our emotional reaction.
We are told in James the tongue is described as “a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Taming our words should be easy like choosing the paragon option in Mass Effect. In theory, it is, but we know different. In practice, our emotions control what we say, not thinking if our words will hurt someone, and having been hurt by others words we fling back a more hurtful phrase. I have a painful list of exchanges in my memory banks that I would give anything to take the easy path and say the opposite of my destructive words. Do any of you?
For our spiritual futures, we must ask ourselves hard questions so we can take the Easy Path when faced with people who push our buttons.
What words do I want others to remember when they think about our conversations?
How do I want to represent myself to others? How much of Christ shines through?
Exercise to Try
While mediating focus on the words you use most often. Think about past conversations. Did they go well or did they not? In this space prepare to change, for the better, how to react. Use that moment program the Easy Path as default.
In a journal, write down your default reaction, the Hard Path. Beside each reaction write what triggers it. Somewhere on that same page write how you want to react next time to that same trigger. To further ingrain the Easy Path, bring the page or journal with you to reference or to study
God Bless you all, Randa 🙂