This morning I woke up and looked at my phone (bad idea and the wrong way to start the day.)
I had an email from a business partner who asked me a question that started me down a path of being angry.
We had been working on a project, or so I thought, and he asked me where to locate the information.
For the last few days, we’ve been talking about the information, and he was responding like he was working on it.
Now he’s asking where the information is.
What’s been happening for the last few days?
Was he lying to me, or am I misunderstanding?
How could he have been working on the information if he didn’t know where it was?
This set off a terrible wave of emotions.
I was angry.
I was frustrated.
I wanted to yell.
How do you handle it when others let you down?
I thought about how I wanted to tell him off.
I thought about the reaction I wanted to have with him.
Sounds natural, yes?
How would you respond?
Then I started to reflect on why I was so angry.
Why was I so upset?
Yes, it’s frustrating, but why did his response have to reflect my response.
Why was I letting his actions determine my attitude and my day?
As I started thinking about this, I was brought to Matthew 7:1-5.
Let’s start with Matthew 7:1-2
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
How harshly do I deal with others?
This says that God will judge us with the same level of judgement we use on others.
I know this is accurate with God, but I find it to be true with those around me.
If I am kind to others, they have more grace and kindness for me.
If I begin with a sharp tone or an accusing attitude, this is what I receive back.
Continuing in Matthew 7:3-5
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
This verse exposed my depravity.
I’m focusing on what is wrong with them and missing what is wrong with me.
I don’t know how it is for you, but I find that many times my anger with others rises when I’m seeing my flaws reflected back to me.
I may be upset by what they’ve done, but more than anything, I’m upset because I see where I’ve done the same thing to others over and over.
I’m upset because one of my most significant flaws being unclear in my expectations.
I’m upset, not because he wasn’t clear with me, but because I see my flaws up close when I reflect on the weaknesses of others.
Do you find this to be true for you?
How can we use this time to stop and reflect on how we can heal ourselves before we accuse others?
How can we be more INTENTIONAL in how we respond and react to others?
Can we TRANSFORM our attitudes?
Can we realize that the work that needs to take place isn’t in someone else, it’s inside of us?
The disappointment of others is the gift to me to see where God wants to change and mold me into something new.
I have control over my life by how I respond.
I have control over my life by how I grow and mature.
My job is not to control others.
My job is to be transformed day by day into the image of Christ.
That can only happen when I recognize the need to be transformed.
What is the most significant frustration you have that you now see as a plank in your own eye?
Can you pray for God to give you the heart to be more intentional?
Can you ask him to transform your mind and help you see this as a gift?
As we all chase down our own intentional transformation, may we Thrive!