In college, I learned how to de-escalate arguments, be persuasive, and write thoughtful responses that demonstrated critical thinking skills. I knew how to communicate with people. The only problem is I haven’t been as effective when it comes to my personal life.
When it came to certain situations and certain people, I immediately became angry, saying exactly what I thought. This lead to me being frustrated. Only until recently did I understand why I was frustrated and WHO I was frustrated with.
As I’ve said in a previous article, we’ve been teaching about strife. So, God has definitely been working on me. As I have been praying and asking God to reveal those areas in my life that need work, He has. And it hasn’t been pretty.
One night as I was praying about strife and asking God to reveal to me what has kept me at this level, the words “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” floated through my mind. I acknowledged the fact that I haven’t done that to everyone in my life and repented.
Then, I listened to Apostle David’s Sunday morning message from June 29th. These words stood out to me: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat others as you want to be treated. Don’t beat people up with your words because if they are already beat up, you’re just making it worse.”
Bam! It hit me like a ton of bricks. To bring it on home he said, “Even if you don’t say it to their face, you say it to other people.” Now, I was in tears and highly convicted of my behavior. I knew exactly who this applied to in my life. I shouldn’t have been talking about this person to anyone! My mouth has been hindering God from working in this person’s life because I won’t shut my mouth! God showed me last night that I need to refrain from “putting my two cents in” about any situation concerning them. He also showed me the reason I had been doing this is because I thought I knew more than they did, even if I didn’t say it to their face. Oh, what’s that called? Pride! When I realized that, I was crying again, because I honestly thought I had gotten better in that area. Thank God for His mercy!
But, the journey to rid myself of strife and pride continues. This morning, while washing my face and brushing my teeth, I was praying. Without even thinking, the prayer of my heart shifted from trusting God with my future, timing, and health, to relationships. Then, out of my spirit came these words, “God, help me to not say what I think about ____________ and blank. I realize that every time I have said something I shouldn’t have said, I got angry and let hatred breed in my heart. Help me to be slow to speak, and slow to anger. Help me to listen like I know I can. I repent for beating people up with my words. Forgive me for my judgmental attitude. Forgive me for not letting Christ be shown to those around me. Forgive me, God, for not letting my light shine.”
You see, I thought I was frustrated with people. That was true to a certain extent. I WAS frustrated with their actions or lack thereof. But, when I let God examine my heart, He showed me the root of my frustration was with myself. And, to just be real, my frustration was with God. I say that because somewhere deep inside of me was this mindset that I know how to fix this. I have the answers to ___________, ___________, and ___________. In truth, I don’t have the answers! God does!
My prayer is “God, forgive me for getting in Your way. For not letting you work in the heart of those around me. Forgive me for frustrating you. Thank You for showing me the weak areas of my life. Those areas I haven’t fully surrendered to You. Help me to continue dealing with the pride and strife in my life. I want to be more like You, but I need Your help. I trust You to help me get rid of everything that is keeping me from going deeper with You.” Amen.
Once you have read this, you are responsible for the truth you’ve heard. Examine your own life.
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