Friday, June 24, 2011

Hangin' Tough

I'm feeling a little reflective tonight.  Hope you don't mind.

It seems that with all the hard knocks and blows, blessings and miracles that life has brought in my 30s, one thing I'm learning is how to go through life

People can be hurtful, mean, gossipy, spiteful, selfish, rude, accusatory, bitter and the list goes on...
so can I.
People need compassion, gentleness, patience, grace, respect, privacy, kindness, generosity, forgiveness and the list goes on...
so do I.

It's a delicate balance, that position of having thick-skin and a tender-heart.  When you're hurt, it's easy to put up a defense and turn cold.  Those icy waters are trecherous to navigate.  Many a relationship falls victim to the ugly in us.

Frankly, the ugly in us isn't going away on this side of heaven.

To me, a tender heart is a heart that is open to offering itself to another.  To give compassion, grace, generosity, respect, forgiveness, etc., we must give of ourselves.  When you've been wounded, that can be scary and even painful.

So, I feel I learn and re-learn these lessons constantly.

I find I have to go to what I know for sure for that thick skin.  I know who I am.  I know how God views me to the extent that I know He loves me, He created me and He accepts me.  I can confidently say that though my faith is often very "raw", it is also very real.  I guess I am more able to take the injuries life hurls at me, knowing that the God of the Universe loves me and is willing to accept/pick me up/walk with me right where I am.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.     Romans 8:38,39
I guess when you bring it all down that way, thick-skin and a tender-heart go hand in hand.  I can have thick-skin, knowing I'm loved and accepted by the One who, having every right to punish me for my sin, loved and accepted me instead.  And my tender-heart comes from remembering that I don't get what I deserve.

When you feel the prick of someone else's ugly on your life, I hope this encourages you to let it roll off without letting your heart get cold and hard.  It is a battle.  The ugly in each of us is going to be here a while.  We're going to have to learn to love through it.

Hang tough
Stay tender, my friends.


  1. agreed. thanks for sharing your reflections and your heart. :)

  2. The New Kid's On the Block knew what they were talking about! :) Love the words-so very true!!

  3. Great post, Dana! And it came at a good time for me.
    Reminds me of the verse that says we need to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.

  4. I loved this! Definitely needed...a long time ago, but glad I got it now, too. :)


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