Emotional Dodgeball. It is a game that no one has ever heard of (because I just named it), but everyone, at some point, has played. And wether or not this is correct in sports terms (because I really don't know if it is correct or not), I am going to call the ball throwers the offensive side because that is what they are doing. I am going to call the ones being hurt the defensive side, because they are usually defending themselves.
You don't really know you are playing this game if you are playing offense. But the defense is definitely aware.
Ever have one of those days when you feel like everywhere you turn, stuff is getting thrown at you? It feels like everyone in your life is against you. One person says something hurtful to you, another person might just be inconsiderate, your kids are misbehaving more than usual, your spouse doesn't understand something that is important to you. In most cases, the balls that are being thrown at you are small and insignificant. But they are just coming from every single direction you turn. Sometimes, in this game, it is only one person throwing the balls, but they are big, and this person just keeps throwing the same ball over and over.
Obviousely, since I just made up this game, there are no clear cut rules to it. But I think you get the idea.
Whether the balls that are being thrown at you are big, and painful, or there are a whole bunch of little silly balls being thrown at you, I hope this encourages you:
2 Corinthians 4:15-17 (NLT)
15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
If you are on offense, you might not even know that you are taking place in this game. But we all need to be very careful. Everyone has been a ball thrower at some point.
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Don't take part in this game. On either side. We all have a choice. On the defensive side, you can choose to either let these words or actions penetrate your heart and make you feel beaten up, or you can pick up your sword and bat them away.
Isaiah 54:17 (NLT)
But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!
On the offensive side, you have a choice to say things or not to say things. Check your motives before you say something that might hurt somebody. Are your words going to build somebody up, or are they going to tear that person down? If you do not speak with love, it will more than likely tear them down.
Ephesians 4:15-16 (NLT)
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Let our words and actions be encouraging to eachother. May we build eachother up instead of tearing eachother down.