Someone once said this to me almost a year ago. It was an incident where I felt deeply misunderstood and extremely upset at the things that were being said about me when all I wanted to do was to be fair to everyone. On hindsight there were many ways I could have handled that better in the first place so I don't deny my fault there, but it didn't change the fact that I felt wronged and wanted to vindicate myself. I remember the escalated tensions, and how angry I was at that moment and venting my frustrations. Then this person just told me in essence 'why should you let others upset you, who cares what other people think, who cares what other people are like, you be the better man'.
I wasn't the better man then, and I do regret it. Through this incident I had caused myself to look bad, and thus in turn a poor reflection of Christ. I remember this simple phrase though.
Today a little incident happened which got me really upset again. Once more I felt wrongly accused. Harsh exchange of words were made, raising of voices and flaring of tempers. After it played out, I was reminded of the exchange back then and eventually I asked myself just how is God glorified in this?
The ego in me expects the other party to apologize to me, after all why should I? I was the victim here, why should I take the blame?
Perhaps though an apology isn't about who is at fault but instead about what matters to you. Someone once said that apologizing does not always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right, but it just means that you value your relationship more than your ego. I guess there is truth in that statement.
It wasn't easy to stomach though, but in the end I decided that as the ambassador of Christ, I should be the one to take the first step. To lay down this pride of mine that keeps insisting that I shouldn't do it, and to just be the better man. So I did, and things did kind of quickly resolve themselves.
Even now I still feel a little upset and the events that had happened. I still feel that maybe I shouldn't have been the one to apologize first, but then again, we are only human, what should I expect? Maybe in an ideal world this would be the case but in the ideal world we wouldn't have begun to hurt each other in the first place. I just know that at the end of the day the only one whose opinion matters is God, and at least I can stand before Him and speak with all honesty that I have done my part.
Jesus too was wrongly accused, and unlike a petty argument like mine, He went to the cross for it. Though he was without guilt, yet He bore all guilt, and through that God brought the gift of salvation to all. In the light of that, I can hardly complain. Maybe this incident too can lead to some steps forward in the Kingdom.