Here is why I thought I was having a really tough and crappy day the other day. Within about 4 hours, I had spoken very harshly to some one I thought was being disrespectful to me, walked up on some one talking very loudly on the phone about how dissatisfied she was with certain arrangements about our ministry I was in charge of and had some one try to apologize to me for wronging me when I was unaware and in the attempt to make it right-just bungled it, which is almost the only way it could have gone because of the intensity of the day and my own fatigue. I got ignored by some one who shouldn’t have, spoken to condescendingly, which hurt my pride and had to deal with some one who has been hard to deal with. I got a lecture using scripture to really make me feel like poo and I just thought Can I get some covering here today? Yikes! Can I just get some protection, for crying out loud?
I have to be honest – I was tired. I was deep-into-the-bone tired. I was sensitive, raw and on edge over a million tiny HF details. Things that should have been done in my mind were far from it and it was heavy on my head. I just wanted some relief to get to enjoy the process after a year of preparations and instead was rushing to complete the irritating minutia, stuff that was suppose to be done a month ago. I was a big fat crap head. And very teary.
I spent most of the rest of the day walking around avoiding eye contact to try to protect myself from any possible further “abuse.” And feeling sorry for myself.
It was such obvious enemy distraction. I knew there was too much at stake to stay there. God doesn’t allow that in me. Man, He is tough.
All night long, I wrestled in prayer. I needed to sleep, but God was intent on talking with me. And do you know what He made me focus in on? Do you think it was the people I regarded as out of line, rude, ungodly? Do you think He’d let me hone in on being ignored and maligned by some one who should have known better? Do you think he was showing me that their opinions don’t matter because He loves me or that He would bring fire on their heads in my defense?
No. Nope. No way.
All He would talk about with me was how I hurt some one I love by my harsh words. All we could “discuss” as I tossed and turned were my actions.
The other people? He told me they were His problem and to understand that He will deal with the things they do. He gave me some insight on their behavior as reflective of personal issues and insecurities. I had to feel some compassion about that, but (because I am a big, fat crap head) I’d love to say, “Get over it-grow up!” But you know what? God and a gazillion other people could say that right back to me, people that I NEED grace from constantly. “None of your business,” He told me about other’s behaviors.
So, God makes me behave. He calls me to kindness.
But what about them, Lord? How come they can act like that?
Not your problem. Look at yourself. You be kind. You follow Me. You be nice. You talk nice. And you apologize for your unkind words, humbly – do it!
I have got to tell you – nice is not in my nature. I really don’t have a “nice gene.” But there is nothing like being required by God to apologize for my own behavior to motivate me to want to understand the power of being kind, of just being nice. Seriously.
So, I am praying that God will teach me to be clothed in kindness. I am asking Him to help me see people beyond the exterior as the valuable people they are. I want to see everyone I meet as people to whom I can express kindness – whether they reject or receive it. I want to be so kind in my deeds and words that I actually call forth the best from people, the greatness of who they really are. And I want to do it knowing that God will keep the score, even if I never know, and that is enough. I want to hear what He is requiring from me:
Just be nice, for crying out loud.
Ok, Lord, I am working on it. Keep me in the process…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Express kindness even in the face of rejection or unkind treatment.