I hated this phrase: ” You need to be the bigger person.”

I hated it more when church pastors and leaders would add, “it’s because you have bigger faith.”

I thought that was stupid. Because if you have faith and know God too then we are on even playing fields. But no, it’s because I was “closer to God” that I had to be the “bigger person.”

I had a friend in college. She was a close high school friend and became one of my college roommates. Long story short, she and I had a huge altercation that basically ended our friendship and the news bled into our church community.

We ended up both serving at the high school girl’s winter retreat that same year and it was the last night of the retreat… you know… “the night.”

I was standing in the back of the sanctuary, in my own mind space with God, until a leader of mine approached me and basically told me I should go apologize to her.

My first reaction was: “Why? I didn’t do anything wrong. She should say sorry to me.”

And long and behold, the leader uttered the death phrase:
“because you need to be the bigger person. Because she is not in the space to say sorry. You need to step up first.”

At that moment, I wanted to strangle a teddy bear because this wasn’t the first time nor the 100th time where this has happened to me and at this point, I looked at God and said, “This is so unfair. Why can’t I have someone say sorry to me first?”

I looked to find her and saw her sitting in the back row, crying by herself. And I said, fine… I will go say sorry. I approached her and apologized. We ended up talking/hugging it out. But as I left my seat and the retreat ended, something felt incomplete.

It wasn’t until 8 years later, God would complete this incomplete feeling.

At the end of 2018, an unforeseen circumstance unfolded in my life and I felt such deep pain and brokenness. It was nothing like anything I’ve ever experienced before. As time progressed, the doors to people started to close one by one.

I was angry but more than angry, I was convicted. 

Because what I realized was that if you approached people, they would be more than willing to support and care for you. Heck, they will even shoot a quick prayer to the God Almighty for you just in case he forgot about you. But only rare few will make the first move and be intentional.

But I couldn’t help but think in general,

“Why are the broken and the lost usually the ones expected to reach out and find the healthy ones?”

Do you not have eyes to see? Do you not have ears to hear? Do you not have hands and feet to move? What is preventing you to act? Inconvenience, too busy, fear, pride, reputation, or the honest truth: you just don’t really care?

God says in 1 John 3:18, “let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”  

So, here I am one night in prayer, deep in revelation and conviction, proclaiming to God that I would never sacrifice an opportunity to provide healing or care to someone because of my pride, fear, reputation, comfort…WHATEVER!

And God, being all-knowing and all gracious, took me back to that night at the retreat and there was I was standing, watching my young self deciding whether or not to go apologize.  And at that moment, when the memory began to replay in my mind, a conviction wrapped in humility and truth quietly arrived at the doorstep of my heart. 

Even if people affirmed me by saying I did the “right thing” or sided with me telling me that she was in the wrong…

At the end of the day…

I hurt her. She was in deep pain because of me.

She might have felt embarrassed, unworthy, ashamed, and broken and it is very much possible that the reason why she was crying out to God that night was because of me. And as much as I was hurt by her too, the truth was I wasn’t in pain like she was.

It’s not about being the bigger person. It not even about who has greater faith or is closer to God. It is about being a person, a vessel, that God could use to do a miracle in you and through you.

A miracle to receive and to give perfect love:
the kind of love that covers all multitudes of sin,
the kind of love that casts out all fears,
the kind of love that never leaves you nor forsakes you
the kind of love that is sincere,
And the kind of love that makes us realize that
there is no love greater than this.

So A.,

I am so sorry. I am sorry for the words that I said that night and my actions. I wanted to say I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart, not because you needed to hear this. Because I know, with or without my sincere apology, God is a good God and he doesn’t need me to provide healing and to you show love. But it is out of the conviction and work God is doing in my heart. You have become an amazing woman, one of great influence and inspiration to others. Your heart and personality were always one of a kind and to this day, that continues to remain true. Continue to let your spirit that is created in the image of God shine brightly unto this world.

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