Better, Best, But Mostly In Between
I didn't respond with a snide comment to my co-worker's cutting criticism, but I am sure my body language expressed my feelings loud and clear. Still, it was better than uttering a unkind remark, right?
In his post on July 16 Pastor Greg Laurie talked about Jesus being our Lord over all things. He is my Lord whether I am at church, the movies, the grocery store, or at work. This is both comforting and little frightening. However, after a moment's reflection, I also realized it is also comforting.
He sees. He knows and He cares. I can take comfort in that, but I must also take the next step. His compassion isn't just for me. It extends to my insulting co-worker, the cranky driver, and the rude clerk.
We all have good days and bad days and I don't know what my co-worker, the crabby driver, or the rude clerk are dealing with. They might be doing their best under circumstances I can't even imagine, and if that is true, wouldn't it be better to give them the benefit of the doubt and extend some compassion? At least I would be happier thinking they were upset with something or someone other than me. As hard as it is to remember, I am not the center of everyone's universe.
And, I am not talking about gross injustices which need to be exposed and stopped. I am referring to the small stuff that gets under my skin and eats away at my sense of balance, self worth and peace. These are situations where a scathing retort is not a wise move and would do nothing more than add more fuel to the already volatile situation. If Jesus were in my place, how would He respond? Of course I don't possess His wisdom, and my choices are limited, but I can try.
An easier way of processing this is to reverse the roles. How would I want to be treated after acting ungraciously toward someone else? Answer: I'd want to be given some slack, especially if I were fighting a heroic battle no one else knew anything about.
This brings me to the real crux of this issue, opinions. I ruffle at their comments and attitude because I am worried about their opinion. It bothers me that my co-worker sometimes thinks the worst of me. It irks me to think that crabby driver feels I need to go back to driver's school, and it rankles my sense of propriety when the rude clerk treats me as if my business doesn't matter. On the day I stand before God after my earthly life is over, whose opinion will carry the most weight? Theirs or His?
So, if God's opinion matters the most, I need to ask what God would want me to do in every situation and act accordingly. I know can do better than I have, and some days will even manage my very best, and others? Well, I will probably land somewhere in between, but I believe God will understand.
Lord, you know my heart. Please help me know Your's.