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Will you respond like Chuck Norris?

Have you ever had one of those moments where you were personally attacked? The attack can come from a boss, coworker, acquaintance, friend, or family member. Your first reaction is to go all Chuck Norris on the person! Literally. The movie script running through your mind casts you as the action-superhero possessing Chuck Norris like skills and strength. Reality suddenly crashes in and you grasp on to the fact that you aren’t “Chuck Norris”. And that if you tried to go all “Chuck Norris”, then your action movie would quickly turn in to a comedy.

So you quickly move to Plan B deciding to engage in an all out verbal assault. Your goal is to tell the real story and to clear your name. You want the light to shine on the person who has wronged you. You want his motives to be revealed. You want her actions to be highlighted. Vindication! That is the goal. (With a side of revenge thrown in.)

You start rehearsing your script and it contains lines like this:

  1. If you only knew what I know, what really is happening, then . . .

  2. If I told you the decisions being made behind closed doors then . . .

  3. If you knew the real {insert name}, like I do, then . . .

  4. I have kept quiet for too long, and now is the time for everyone to know that . . .

  5. What was said to me privately, and what is being communicated publicly, doesn’t remotely . . .

I am sure that there is truth to what you want to share. I am sure the words shared with you privately and the script used publicly are vastly different versions. And now you are wrestling with the twisted truth that is being passed from person to person about you. The injustice levied against you, both personally and professionally, cuts deep and has engaged your fight or flight response.

And if you are like me, flight is never an option.

So what are your options? One option is to engage in a verbal retaliation where you desperately try to set the story straight and to vindicate your name. Let me ask you several questions: How will that turn out? Will it help the situation? Will it bring clarity to the events unfolding around you? Will it start the healing process? How will it impact those connected to the situation? Will it shine a light on your character and integrity?

The other option is to make the intentional decision to remain silent.  My dad had a simple saying that I heard him say countless times.

“Let your life be your defense. The truth always rises to the surface.”

Time after time these words have played in my mind as I have encountered difficult situations. When I want to scream words of vindication, I say to myself “Let your life be your defense. The truth always rises to the surface.”

  1. When accusations are hurled at you attacking your character, let your life be your defense.

  2. When injustice is levied against you, let your life be your defense.

  3. When an unjust decision is made, impacting your immediate future, let your life be your defense.

  4. When one person stirs up dissent about you, let your life be your defense.

  5. When a leader positions himself to remove you, let your life be your defense.

  6. When a boss develops a convoluted script about your dismissal, let your life be your defense.

Those who twist the truth will continue to twist the truth. Don’t lower yourself to their level.

Those who position words to skew the story line, will continue to position words to force the story line to fit the reality they want people to see. Don’t give them more words for their script.

Those who try to mask their real intentions by well articulated speeches will be revealed by who they really are and the motives that guide their decisions.

Truth will always find its way to the surface. And when it does, the light will break through the veil of darkness that has been masterfully knitted together. The tapestry of false statements, skewed motives, and self-positioning leadership, will be revealed. At that moment, the light will shine on your actions and the words you chose not to say. People will see your life for what it is and will realize that you could have shouted words of righteous anger, but chose to allow your life to be your greatest defense.

Q: Why is this so difficult to live out?

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