I volunteered my Sunday to help an acquaintance with a project. I planned things around it and said no to other things to make it happen. After driving to the project, due to some disorganization and unplanned hang-ups, the project kind of fell apart and I was just told to go home.
Just go home? Sure, I wanted to go home, but I had also put time and effort into being there, and suddenly I felt wronged.
My initial emotion: annoyance. My whole day was suddenly a waste. Did she not understand the value of my time?
Before speaking I took a deep breath and assessed the situation. I recognized my emotions wanting lash out in anger and frustration. But was I truly wronged? Was the change of plans intentional? Was my whole day TRULY a waste?
Of course not.
Then this verse popped into my mind and paved the way for cleaner, kinder thoughts: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
How would Jesus respond to the situation?
Oh Spirit come, give me words…
We (I) tend do feel deserving of so much. It is our RIGHT to be treated well and our time to be respected. And when things don’t go as planned…or someone cuts us off on the freeway or the cashier forgets to give the discount or our cell phone bill is incorrectly totaled or the telemarketer’s call wake up our sleeping baby (AHH!), we feel wronged. It is our right to be upset to stand up and speak out (often lash out). Isn’t it?
I think about this differently when I think about how Jesus responded to situations and to people. Did he demand respect? How did He respond when He was mistreated?
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
This is a challenging verse to ponder.
The world is watching. The world is hungry for people to step up and out in LOVE and KINDNESS, not lashing out in frustration and annoyance. We are Christ on this earth, and the only interaction some may have with Jesus is an interaction with us. How will we represent Him? How will we give His mindset life on this earth? How will we reveal His heart to a world hungry for consistency and unconditional love?
As someone quick to speak this is a true challenge for me. I am often treated well, so when things don’t go my way I tend to get easily offended and frustrated.
Next time we feel anger or annoyance rise up, before we speak, may we ask ourselves what Christ’s mindset would be and reconsider our response. We cannot do this on our own, but thankfully our secret weapon– Christ in us– is all we need.