A "situation" came up the other day that really ticked me off. I was in the middle of being toasty warm with my computer on my lap, enjoying a cup of tea, watching the snow fall through the windows, when a certain adult in my house forgot that he said he would make the school pick-up run and decided to snowblow the driveway instead. I had to jump up, get bundled, and slip and slide my way to school, the one thing I really didn't want to have to do.
I could feel the anger start to rise, then it slipped away. I didn't get it. I wanted to be pouty. I wanted to be coddled and apologized to. I wanted to get my "mad" on.
I couldn't. It didn't fit anymore. It was almost comical as I tried to think of all the reasons I had to be mad, trying to work up a good fit. I used to be able to hold on to an offense, nurse a grudge, for a commendable amount of time. Now I couldn't even be irritated.
I know why. At the risk of sounding overly simplistic, it is simple. I've been hanging out with Jesus. Not just stopping by for a chat, but doing life with Him. Abiding. I have been intentional about starting my day with Him, asking Him to be my strength in situations that make me want to be less than Christlike, situations that bring out my self-righteous tendencies. Situations like going out in a snowstorm when someone else said they would and then forgot.
I think I am more excited about my "mad" not fitting than I would be about a pair of jeans being too big. It is evidence of the truth that is held in scripture...that life change occurs when we allow Jesus to come in to our hearts and clean it up, replacing our imperfections with His perfection.
What is your default emotion when life doesn't go the way you want? We all have something that is triggered by circumstances out of our control, and most of the time, to be fair, those defaults are not God-honoring. Can I encourage you to surrender those negative reactions to Jesus? When we spend time with Him, we can't help but be changed from the inside out.
- I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me, you can do nothing. John 15:5
- Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God--truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:23-24
- But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22