I received the news. More work is coming your way. Internally I didn’t take the news well. But on the outside, I tried to show willingness for the extra tasks at hand. I was annoyed. I was frustrated. I had finally jumped one of the last hurdles of a busy fourth quarter. I was ready for a slow February. So I didn’t take the news well. But it was news I was expecting. Just not all in one fell swoop.
The words that I kept hearing in my mind were a rebuke. They were words telling me that my attitude was wrong. They were saying I should know better than to be so upset about something so small. They said you’re bigger than this. Don’t let this annoyance bring you down.
What is in the heart, the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23
So I knew I must be silent, because the meditations of my heart were not pleasing to God. I knew that. And I knew I must not voice them. I knew I needed to dig deep to find out why I was so annoyed. What was the real issue anyway?
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:3-4
Someone else had assigned a task. I did the work. But then they redid the whole thing. The final piece didn’t have one ounce of my efforts in it. I didn’t want to be offended, but I kind of was. Why? What did it matter? Did they think my work wasn’t good enough? Maybe. Did they want to take the project in a different direction? Obviously. So why wasn’t I ok with that? I knew I needed to be. I knew I couldn’t let a bad attitude creep in. I knew that I needed to be able to applaud them for a job well done, if it ever came to that. And I needed to mean it. Not force the compliment.
So I set out to pray. For myself. For my stinking attitude. I’m only human. But I want to be godly. I want to be an example of how to handle a disappointing situation. Did I pass the test? Only time will tell.
Someone else insulted me to my face. She didn’t realize what she was saying. But I sure did. I chalked up her words to youth and ignorance. For one day, she will stand in my shoes. And when the tables are turned on her, we’ll see how she responds. Fortunately, I kept my mouth shut that day.
If I want to be like Christ, then I need to be like Christ at that moment when it counts. Not tomorrow or next month. But right now. Right when the truth smacks me right in the face. Right when I have the opportunity to prove to myself that God is enough in all the trials of life.
I’ve learned that in those moments of frustration, disappointment, insult or direct honesty, I do have a choice. I can choose to be like Christ or not. Easy or not. I need to take a step back. Listen to what’s being said. Appreciate the fact that I have work to do. Be willing to take criticism. I can be a godly example. It is a choice.