In my mind I see the person I want to be. The person I believe God wants me to be. The person I am (at heart). In reality that person is displayed a totally different way than I would like. That person makes mistakes, says things that are spiritually inappropriate, thinks sinful thoughts, yells, cusses occasionally unexpectedly, and needs forgiveness almost every hour of the day. Gosh! That person is in between holiness and worldly. That person needs GRACE!
As I returned to the office reflecting on my recent encounter the usual guilt had began to sink. The guilt I always feel after saying whatever comes to my mind. Only in this instance it’s more of what I didn’t do or say. I only mouthed off words of annoyance that were not in ear shot but the eyes could read that it was not the nicest thing being said. This particular time I walked off with no gesture of embrace but rather a very telling OK. In the moment I feel righteous for being mean, a little rude, aggravated, annoyed. I mean I hadn’t done anything for anyone to be upset with me. I felt slighted because my innocent words were taken offensively. I thought, here we go again. I then put up my walls and dismissed the other person’s feelings while adding to their annoyance by being short with them. In those moments, I have no regard for the other person’s feelings or recent circumstances. I feel justified that they were the ones that were upset with me for some reason I don’t even know. I feel as if I am owed something by them.
I did it again. I took my eyes off Jesus and placed them on me, my feelings, and my situation. The funny thing is the matter wasn’t even that important to me. I could have chosen grace but instead I chose to make my feelings an idol.
But even after feeling righteous in my behavior, guilt often sinks in. I begin to feel guilty because I know that my reaction was not a righteous reaction; and even though i will be over the disregard of the other person they will more than likely sulk in their resentment towards me. I should be the bigger person. I can choose to respond with love and gentleness. I can choose to exhibit the fruits of the spirit.
I’m disappointed in myself again. I come to the realization that I can do nothing without God. I find that I have once again chiseled away at a meaningful relationship for the price of increasing my pride. Pieces that can only be rebuilt with the chiseling away of my prideful nature. My conviction reminds me that the same grace I need and am given in this very situation is the same grace I have to learn to give others.