I’ve made no attempt to hide my shortcomings. Either here or off the blog.
And today, I’m going to zero in on one of my most frequent and unfortunate shortcomings. Why? Well, my dear friend, because I’m struggling with it RIGHT NOW.
I am easily frustrated by people. By small things that they do that I don’t agree with or that I don’t like or that I would rather they just not do.
By their choices of Facebook shares.
By their choices of friends.
By the way their voice sounds.
By the way they eat their food.
By how they looked at me.
By how they didn’t.
The list can go on…and on…and on. My mind is, at times, a cesspool of annoyance and distaste.
And where I battle myself even further is in how I express this to those around me.
I’ve never been good at hiding my emotions. They write themselves all over me…my face…my arms…my stance. And I’m especially not good at hiding annoyance. It literally comes off of me in waves.
Once upon a time, I called these qualities refreshing…honest…being genuine. Instead of recognizing them for what they are: unloving…rude…and controlling.
Where does waiting come in you ask? Why thank you for keeping me on point!
In those moments where I have allowed my own negative characteristics such as criticism, control, irritability to reign over my mind and my emotions and my body, I have a strong desire to open my mouth and let it all come out.
I have a secret skill. To build elaborate verbal take-downs. To know exactly how to shred someone else with words and observations alone. To characterize someone based on my momentary dislike of something about them.
And, I’m not proud of it. Once, I was. I won’t pretend otherwise. I thirsted for those moments when I could use this secret skill to go off. I thrived on going off. On the confrontation. On the moment when my opponent realized that I had the better of them. That I had their number.
But, my secret skill is not really a secret at all. It is actually a gift that God has given to me that I sometimes allow to become twisted by my self.
Because, I have also seen how God can prompt me to use my words to build up and encourage and help. To comfort and challenge. To have that moment when He brings me another one of those He loves and I get the chance to shower them with the truths of who He is no matter who they are. That I have their answer.
The key to going good instead of going rogue is in the waiting. In that deep breath moment where I recognize that my feelings, thoughts, and emotions will change. That my annoyance and frustration will ebb. In that moment, I have a chance.
To give in.
When I wait, God gives me that chance. That chance to build instead of break. To cherish instead of crack. To see Him instead of me or them or this or that.
Waiting reminds me that HE is what matters.
And it saves me from a few extra amends.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. –Proverbs 15:4 ESV