Have you ever encountered someone who is just so frustrating that you are like, “I will NEVER do THAT”? Or have you known someone who did something that DROVE YOU CRAZY and you were like, “Ugh! I will never be like this person and do that thing”? Yeah… My mom use to tell me, “If you see something that you don’t like in someone else you should look inside yourself because, chances are, you do it too.” How right she often was. But I have been determined to never be the person I don’t like or have traits that I abhor seeing in someone else. So if you get behind a slow driver, you betcha it is not me because I despise slow drivers, driving way below the speed limit. If you are in line at the register and the person in front of you is just chatting on the phone like crazy and ignoring the cashier, that is not me because I have been that ignored cashier! Unfortunately, though, if someone makes a commitment to you and fails to keep it, that just might be me because lately I have been a bit of a failure at that.
Well today, I really failed!! My friend, Heather — who is probably the closest friend I have right now – asked me yesterday if I would watch her kids this morning. I said I would because I really don’t mind at all. Our kids get along great and I always get some chat time in with Heather. I knew she had an important appointment, so I really didn’t mind at all. Well last night I was awake until 3 a.m. or later and felt exhausted this morning. In my mental fogginess I totally spaced and forgot about my commitment to Heather!! I dragged myself out of bed late and it wasn’t until I was fixing lunch that I asked Cassie to get my phone. When she brought it to me from the office I saw I had SIX missed calls – five of which were from a frustrated Heather. It was at that moment that it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was supposed to watch her kids at 9:45 and it was now 11!! I reluctant listened to her voicemails, half expecting to hear her yell at me or at least vent a little, but they were “umm where are you??” messages instead. How kind of her to not blow up at me as I might have at her if the situation were reversed. Then I felt even worse. I knew that I was the person I despise. If you commit to me – especially to watch my kids – you better keep it! How dare you not call me! How dare you not be more considerate! Set an alarm! Wake up! What is YOUR PROBLEM!? Those are things I might have said to someone like me, with much anger and frustration. I called Heather, almost expecting to feel her wrath, but she was like, “Oh, I understand. I know you have trouble sleeping. I figured you were up late and tired. Its okay. I forgive you.” What?? No yelling? No, “What is your problem?” or “How could you?” Don’t get me wrong, Heather is a sweet person and has never been mean to me. But I often expect from others what I would do myself and I know me. It would be hard for me to restrain my anger in a moment such as this, if the situation were reversed that is. Then I realized that, not only am I the person I despise, but I also can be unforgiving. Forgiveness is not something we should horde or hold onto waiting for the perfect apology. Forgiveness is something that should be freely given, with love even, just as it was given to us through Christ.
How can you trust someone who you cannot count on? How can you count on someone who fails to do what they say they will do? Matthew 5:33-37 says:
“33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’34 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne;35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’. How simple, and yet how difficult to fulfill. This comes right after Jesus has just spoken about Divorce and Marriage and it goes well with it. How can your spouse trust your, “I do” if you fail to keep every other commitment in your life?? Desiring to keep from making a false vow, I will not vow to change I will just do it. “If you want to be someone else change your mind.” I love that. How true it is. I need to just decide to be different and I will be. I am just a cold turkey kind of person. I don’t mean that I love to eat cold turkey – well I do, but that is beside the point. I mean that it is easy for me to just drop anything and pick up something new. I once quit chewing my nails solely by telling myself that I was done. Of course I picked it back up again when I decided that I didn’t care how my nails looked so forget it. And there again is a perfect example of me failing to keep a commitment – to myself, no less!
I want to change. I want to sleep well. I want to wake up rested. I want to have enough money to always have my needs met and also meet the needs of others. I want to feel good. I want to be worthy of the love of others. I want to be an example worth following.
I am a follower of Christ and I am committed to him. That commitment has, before now, not meant as much to me as it does in this moment. I recognize my faults. Praise God that I see myself for who I am instead of who I want to be. I cannot change if I do not know myself and see my flaws that need changing. May God always bless my eyes to see the truth in myself and others. God is good. I will strive to be good like God.
Dear God, my wonderful Father,
Please forgive me for my shortcomings. Please help me to always see them and when I decide to change, make me change, Father. Make that change quick and easy. Please touch the hearts of those who encounter me; make them be patient with me, Father, as I work to be better every day. Make my heart, also, be forgiving of others and patient with their shortcomings. Thank you so much, God, for the forgiveness I have been granted. I never question my home in Heaven. I know it is not deserved, but freely given through blood and love. Thank you so very much for that gift. Please, please make me share it, God. I want others to feel the love and care and acceptance that I feel from you. No one loves me like you do, God. I know when I stumble and fail that you still love me and will help me up. Make me ever more perfect every day. I want to be like you, God. I want to be pleasing to you. I also do want to please others, but not at the expense of pleasing you. Thank you for the friends I have. Make me be a good friend, God. Help me to know what to do and say that will make my relationships flourish and grow. I love you so much. You are always my best friend. IJNA
Feeling exceptionally Super-charged today