It’s been a few posts since I wrote a serious one, and I feel like I’ve gotta just write this and put it out there. …This post could also be subtitled “This is me being real.”
Isn’t funny how God will teach you stuff when you don’t ask for it? And then sometimes he heaps more on just for fun, and you’re sitting there like “Ok, God, I get it you win!” That’s been my life last night and today. Let me tell you about it.
Last night I was so mad at one of our neighbors that I coulda set fire to his car and not even cared one bit (ok, maybe a little bit exaggerated, but I did want to slash his tires). Without going into vast details, I felt very wronged by a neighbor of ours. I was furious! And for me that’s pretty big news… I’m usually pretty levelheaded. I even explained to Staci that I had only been that mad maybe 2 or 3 other times in my entire life.
How many of you have heard the verse in Proverbs that says “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown” or “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD”? Well let me just say, that both these verses apply to my wife. Staci has always really helped challenge me in my daily Christian walk, and last night she did it again; so I just needed to brag on her for a moment.
After things had more or less resolved and Staci and I were getting ready for bed, I explained to Staci the anger and hatred I still had in my heart. At this moment Staci hit me right in the heart muscle when she reminded me that we needed to love that man, pray for him, forgive him, and maybe even take him some cookies! And I’m left sitting there thinking… why do you have to do this to me?! Why won’t you let me be mad?! And then I remembered the verses I mentioned above about “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown” and “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD”. My wife is incredible!
If I were to explain the story of why I was so upset, probably 9 out of 10 would say, “Hey, you had a right to be mad. That guy was a jerk!” In fact, I know I told myself that lie several times last night. Staci helped remind me that as a Christian I gave up my rights. Jesus commands us to to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. I think Jesus should have tagged on to the end of that phrase “even when you’re really, really mad (and have a “right”) to be mad at your neighbor.”
As a Christian, I have given up my rights to follow my desires and to live a life God has called me to. I, honestly, do feel ashamed of my anger, and, although it took some warming up to, I am excited to bake some cookies for this guy and take them over. I just hope he doesn’t think we’re trying to poison him or something.
So at the beginning of this post I mentioned that sometimes I think God gets a kick out of teaching us more when we really don’t want it. As much as I felt like I learned my lesson last night, I got on my Google Reader and two of the blogs I read mentioned something along these lines. First, Jon Acuff of SCL had written for “Serious Wednesday” that he had been convicted of judging his hair stylist and explained that whole story, which really hit me in the heart, and then Donald Miller’s post for the day was entitled “Want to be Happy? Forgive Your Enemies.” Once again… shot in the heart!
So, needless to say, God has been forming me in these last 24 hours… we’ll see what He throws my way next.