(Stick with me on this. I'm not just whining. I promise, there is a life affecting takeaway at the end).
In one of my classes, there are two people that I don't like. Honestly, they just grate on my nerves. When they open their mouths, I shutdown. I don't care what they say. I don't value their opinions, although I know their opinions well because they are rudely vocal about them to the point they will interrupt a presentation to share them. They don't respect others. They think very highly of themselves and their thoughts of and on the world. They don't listen. They don't want to learn from others. They don't try to understand. They don't want to actually have conversation. I really don't like them, and after this class is over, I have no intention of having contact with them again. Frankly, if I see them walking toward me, I might even veer another direction. I find them that unpleasant to be around.
Now, this is where I insert my, "As Christians, we should love them and accept them and befriend them blah blah blah," speech, right? Wrong.
Here is the truth. I am not willing to accept that behavior. I'm not willing to befriend that behavior. I'm willing to own the truth about that behavior--it is divisive. It is rude. It is condescending. It is hateful. It is not of God.
I'm owning that truth.
I'm also owning the truth that I can be just like those two people. I'm owning the truth that I am often far quicker to give my thoughts than to listen to someone else'. I'm crazy good at thinking I'm right and people who don't think like me--who don't have the exact same spiritual beliefs as me--are wrong. I am disgustingly good at shutting people down at times because I'm so busy pushing an idea or agenda I don't see a person.
I am owning the fact I have no desire to be a friend to those people, and in doing so, I"m owning the fact that when i act like them, no one would want to be my friend either. In fact, no one should want to be my friend when I act like that.
So this morning I am asking the Lord to show me where I have become a friend to those things in myself. Places where I either don't see those behaviors or attitudes or places and ways where I justify them.
The Word says if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and PURIFY US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
This morning I am confessing that I am friends with some ugly stuff in me, and I expect to see or become aware of failings in this area because God is faithful to purify me, which means, He has to bring up the trash so it can be removed. He's not condemning me. He's giving me a gift by showing me ways that I create an atmosphere people want to avoid. He's giving me a chance to change, to do better, to be better, to be the person who can build the life I really want. I want people to ejnoy my company and friendship. He's showing me ways I sabotage that. Really, it isn't condemnation. It's a beautiful grace. It's a gift.
So this morning I am praying for the gift of honest character analysis from a God whose perfect perspective is always kind, even in hard honesty.
Praying for you today.
I'm glad you are here.
Love and prayers,