Thursday, April 28, 2011

Confessions and Lessons

It's been an interesting week of education for me this week.  Not "education" like I get to learn new and interesting things, but rather "education" like "Hey, look what you just learned about yourself!"  and not in a good way!  Lately I've been in one of those modes where I think I know what's going on.  I think I'm handling things well.  I think I pretty much have it together and that I am being a good Christian witness.  Well, thinking don't make it so!

Lesson One:  On Monday, we were short-handed at work and it had been a very long day.  I was just finishing up on the last item that I needed to get done for someone else, and was getting ready to start on some of my own work when one of our employees brought me something that I needed to do for him. I told him I would take care of it, but my tone was very curt, and probably rude.  The next morning, after taking some time to think about it, I realized that I needed to apologize to him. After all, everyone where I work knows I'm a Christian, and I didn't think I was a very good witness during that particular interaction.  I needed to rectify that!  I was all proud of myself for realizing my mistake, and being willing to own up to it.  After I got to work, I called him and told him I was sorry for my rude behavior.  There was a pause, and then he laughed and said, "I didn't notice that you were rude."  Whew, I thought, that's a relief!  My relief turned to something entirely different though when he said, "I guess there might be a problem if you are rude to me and I don't even notice it, huh?"  I didn't understand what he meant at first, and then the lightbulb went on!  He wasn't saying that he didn't notice that I was rude, he was saying that he didn't notice any difference from how I normally acted!  Yikes!  Did that mean that I was always short, curt or rude to people? That certainly isn't a good witness! I definitely needed to do some analyzing!

Okay, yes, I can be preoccupied with a project.  I like to call it "focused", but one of the ladies the that I work with calls it "distant".  Yes, I do like the "Reader's Digest" version of things; why say in 200 words what you can say in 10? (Funny thought coming from a woman who's blogs certainly can't be labeled 'short and to the point'!)  And, yes, I can be short with people.  Sigh.  Lesson One:  Be more patient with people and think before I speak. 

Lesson Two:  On Tuesday my son had an interaction with a person that just annoys me.  I could list a hundred reasons why this person annoys me, but none of them are really valid.  This person annoys my son too, which is key to this lesson.  One day, my son was going out of his way to be nice to "Jane".  His actions could truthfully be labeled, "service" to that person.  For some reason this bothered me.  Why was he going out of his way to be nice to "Jane" when "Jane" was often not nice to others?  Later, as I was telling my husband about this incident, I'm sure he could hear in my voice how I felt about it.  As I was telling him how our son had gone out of his way to serve "Jane", I realized how wrong my feelings were about this situation.  Our son was doing exactly what Jesus would expect us to do.  He was showing kindness to someone who did not (in my mind) deserve it.  Sigh.  Lesson Two:  Treat others kindly whether I think they deserve it or not.

Lesson Three:  Also on Tuesday, I had a meeting that I was dreading.  I was mostly dreading the meeting with the person rather than the topic of the meeting.  The meeting was brief and relatively painless.  I was glad when "Bob" got up to leave.  After we said our goodbyes, he got to the door and turned around and said, "How was your Easter"?  I answered rather generically about dinner with my family and with my husband's family.  I asked about his.  He mentioned that his church did a Passion Play and that it was good.  He asked me if I had watched Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and I told him that I had not.  We talked about it for a few moments, and after "Bob" said that the movie really made you reflect on what Jesus had done for us,  I asked him if the end of the movie left you with the understanding that you needed to make a decision.  We continued to discuss the movie and Christianity in general.  He shared that he was saved as did I.  It was a good conversation, and I was ashamed that I had dreaded his visit so much!  Lesson Three:  Don't be so quick to judge others, and be quicker to witness to them! 

I know that I have a tendency to give quick, not very thoughtful answers to questions. I also know that I have a problem with small talk in general, and never know how to start a conversation with people about Jesus.  Easter is the perfect way to do that, and I totally blew it! My new goal is to be a better witness for Christ in my words, actions and daily conversation.  God showed me three very important lessons (there were probably more and I just wasn't smart enough to catch them all) in 48 hours.  All three were very closely related and I have to believe that God is showing me certain areas that need a LOT of work.  Sadly, I have a long way to go, and I had thought I was already there!

God Bless!

Here are some verses that have been on my mind as I thought about each of these interactions:

Proverbs 25:21-22 ~ "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink.  For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee."

1 Timothy 4:12 ~ Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

Mark 16:15 ~ "And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."


  1. from what you said I took the guys comments to mean that people are rude to him so often that he didn't notice. Maybe he didn't just mean you but many others in his life as well?

  2. I've got to tell you that I'm impressed that you are taking such a close look at your own behaviors. That is an inspiration! I think if more of us did that, as we should, then this world would be a better place.