Have you ever had one of those days when it seems that just about everything rubs you the wrong way? Actually I have had more of those than I want to remember but I had one on Sunday. The drummer in our church band played way too loud when the lead singer was speaking, then our lead singer who likes to repeat hymn verses, I thought, really went overboard a couple of times. Then I noticed that a number of men were wearing hats in church and that bothered me because I’m old school where I think you should show respect for God in Church and men should take their hats off.
Oh I wanted to go to the drummer and tell him to tone it down but I didn’t. I wanted to yell out enough of the repeats but I didn’t and I reminded myself that God looks at the heart of the men with their hats on and it’s more important that they are there with them on than not at all. But I also thought to myself, where’s the love in my heart for these people? Sometimes God’s Holy Spirit just kind of takes over and it is so easy to love and accept someone, almost it seems, without any effort on my part at all. And then there are other times when I know I’m having a hard time.
I wish I could tell you that it stopped there but it didn’t. We had one of our daughters over for supper and we had a wee bit of an episode that I probably could have handled better. No I didn’t commit any huge blunder but the human mode definitely out weighted the walk in the spirit mode. I’d like to tell you this is a rare occurrence but that would be a lie. The scale of frequency has definitely improved and may be tilting in the right direction but it is far from hard over.
The Apostle Paul goes over a long list of different things that we can do in 1st Corinthians 13 NIV where each gift or good work is summarized by indicating that if it’s not done in love we’re missing the point. And then we have the long list of the attributes of love. I don’t get high marks in that one. Oh I may have my moments but they are too infrequent.
The sad part about this is I could go on. I’ve learned to modify my behavior but I’m not doing that well with the thoughts factor. Have you ever noticed how Jesus got pretty mad at the Pharisees and the scribes? Did you ever notice how He seemed to get irritated with the disciples inability to understand spiritual truths? This is me arguing with myself that Jesus did it but then I recall His heart and I take a look at mine and they aren’t two of the same kind. Short story is I still have a long way to go.
Sometimes I think I making good headway and then there are those days when I think God may have bitten off more than He can chew in changing the way I think. I’ve been around long enough to understand that most of these things wouldn’t have even been an issue in the past because previously my way was always right and now I know better.
I ask God to guard my lips a lot. Actually He’s usually pretty good at that. But there are those times when you just know the words that are coming out of your mouth should not be coming out of your mouth but it’s too late and there they are. Open mouth, insert foot. I love God’s grace because the frequency of those have dissipated over the years but every once in a while, just as a reminder . . .
When I notice I’ve blundered and try to soften the blow so to speak, my wife usually tells me “Nice recovery”. Of course we know what that means, . . . too little, too late.
Another thing that really bothers me is sarcasm in some Christian blog writers. Very seldom, if ever, do I see it in most of the people that I follow but I ran across one yesterday. We had a small discussion, both of us were civil with each other but when I see someone who calls them self a Christian and they attempt to demean someone with their intelligence by inferring in a “witty way” that the person to whom they are speaking is an idiot, I have a hard time with that. There is a big difference between having a discussion and attacking someone. I’d love to have the Apostle Paul jump into the conversation. I’d be reposting or retweeting that puppy! Christianity is not a game where we get to display our superior intelligence at the expense of demeaning someone else. Discussion – yes, demeaning – no. We dishonor God who we represent, ourselves and others when we do that.
In all honestly, most of the time, the real problem is me and my attitude. I should know better, I should understand and accommodate better. Just letting you know that the Lord and I are working on that. This has been one long and difficult course.
Worthy is the Lamb!
Grace and blessings!