Monday, February 15, 2010

Celebrate the Differences!

     It never fails, as soon as I commit to showing Jesus more to those around me, I have to endure one of those days that tests your patience at every turn. As I get older and my hormones get crazier, patience grows harder to possess. Since I do not get a pass from God on patience due to hormones, I have to work harder on letting the Spirit fill me so I can demonstrate patience in my life. The other day, I found myself asking the questions, “Is everyone being so irritating because my spirit is off or is my spirit off because everyone is being so irritating?” It was one of those challenging days. It wasn't due to some major issue, it was just a day where every driver I shared the road with had an attitude and one actually had the nerve to honk at me when I waited a few seconds to accelerate as soon as the light turned green. I was running against the clock and it was winning. On top of that, every person who waited on me was rude and unhelpful. Oh, how I wanted to have a fit and teach a few employees how to give good customer service!
     Looking back at my question, I have determined the problem was my spirit was not what it should have been. I was not focused on walking as a child of God. I was not humble but was focusing on myself and the customer service I deserved as a customer. I did not consider the day those employees or drivers were having. I did not wonder if they had a major life event happening. It was all about me! I did not give grace or unconditional love. Yet the other day when I left the hospital after visiting my friend with the daughter in ICU, I was pondering on her situation as a mother and pulled out to turn and did so quite slowly. Some car honked at me. I really thought about turning around, following them to their parking spot and explaining to them that many times people are hurting when they leave a hospital and it was very insensitive of them to honk in a hospital parking lot!
     Sometimes, it is not the minor encounters with people that test our patience; it can be with those closest to us. We can become frustrated and not show love to our coworkers, friends, or family. I believe the main reason we great frustrated with people is that we expect them to act like we would in situations. We do not appreciate their differences such as their history, their hurts, their personalities, their spiritual gifts, their gender, their family situations, their financial stresses, etc. It is very arrogant of us to think that everyone should be like us. That they should respond like us, handle situations like us, work like us, think like us, and act like us.
     In God’s wisdom, He did not choose to create everyone all the same. He gave different purposes, spiritual gifts, personalities, etc. I love the difference in my children and appreciate their uniqueness. So does our Heavenly Father. He created the differences, so maybe we should stop expecting everyone to be just like us and start celebrating the differences.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life
 worthy of the calling you have received.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient,

bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:1-2

1 comment:

Steph said...

It would be a boring world if everyone was the same. I have those days just like you where I think everyone is just plain stupid. :-) Then I take a deep breath count to 10...exhale out the bad, breath in God!!! You said that once in our women's Bible study and I have never forgot it!