In my country, we have a saying, ‘Doh take it on’. It’s an expression of encouragement to others to let bygones be bygones. We have a few other such expressions:
- ‘Is small ting’, which means don’t let it trouble you.
- Water under the bridge: Let bygones be bygones
- Today for me, tomorrow for you: Every dog has its day
I’m sure you can think of some yourself.
What do these expressions say to me? They tell me that our language seems to have its fair share of expressions that encourage us to turn the cheek. Our language seems to have its fair share of plasters for the sores of those who fret themselves because of the ungodly. In Psalm 37, we are encouraged not to fret ourselves because of evildoers. As we read on in the psalm, we are assured that in a little while, the wicked will be no more, that we will search out their place, but they will not be there.
Now, I’m not encouraging you to relish in the demise of those who hurt you. Not in the least. What I am discouraging you from doing is lamenting the hurts you’ve suffered, because, assuredly, in the fullness of time, it all works out. I ask, how many hours have you spent talking about, posting about and whining about the hurt that you have suffered at the hands of others? How many hours have you spent thinking about what you should have done or said in retaliation?
My friend, as the title of this week’s piece says, ‘Doh take it on’. Don’t let it ruffle your feathers. Why? Because to allow that is to allow the hurt or the offence you suffered to change who you are. To allow the hurt or the offence committed to ruffle your feathers is to continue to play with a wound that should be left alone so that it can heal. And while some offences require deeper or specialised attention (consider the offence that involves a crime or immoral behaviour), many of the offences that we suffer on a daily basis do not fall into that category. I acknowledge that offences can cut deep (believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of some myself), but we do need to progress past that.
To progress past the hurt means that we can let go of the pain the offence caused us and take hold of forgiveness. Forgiveness means that we let go of the need to talk about the offence…sometimes for years after the hurt. Forgiveness means that we no longer are bitter when we think of the incident or the person that caused us the pain. Forgiveness means that we can even consider reconciliation with the one who hurt us, whether or not the person is in that space.
Now, mind you, there are those who try to assure you that they have moved past the hurt, yet decades after the incident their accounts of it smack of bitterness. I assure you, they have not yet let go of whatever it is. They are still ‘taking it on’. Maybe you’re one of those. How do you let go of that pain? How do you allow the wound to heal? How do you not allow the hurt to change who you are? Can I share a tip with you? I have learnt to pray for the person. As they say, ‘You can’t pray for them and talk about them.’ I have learnt to pray as well for myself, that I would move past the pain of the incident and grow to the point of forgiveness so that I can move on.
‘Doh take it on’. Lest we misunderstand, this statement is not about sitting idly by waiting for God to execute justice. It’s not about letting others get away with wrongdoing. It’s not even about turning a blind eye. No, in the context of Psalm 37, it’s about trusting God to make all things right…even us. It is about letting go so that we can move on to grow into who we were meant to become. It’s about allowing ourselves to be fashioned into who we were meant to be. It’s about HEWing you, and allowing nothing to hinder the process of increasing your human effectiveness at work so that we can step into our purpose.
Friends, doh take it on. Let go of it and allow your hands to be used to shape something far more important: your peace of mind, your well-being and your human effectiveness at work.
Until next time I leave you with this prayer: