Good Morning! Yes, it really is morning for me today. We’re headed to Paris. Not the exotic one, the one in Texas. Ron is preaching there today and I’m going with him.
It’s Sunday morning and the clock was accidentally set for an hour earlier than the right time! By the time we realized it by looking at a different clock, the bed was made and we were too wide awake to go back to bed…unfortunately.
I’m all ready to leave and the sun is peeping over the houses and trees on the east side of our house. It is a fresh, clean day with a hint of gold to it. Almost pristine. I almost hate to start such a pretty day. I’m afraid I’ll ruin it with my goofs and blunders. I feel like I’ve been having a lot of them lately.
In the background, the birds are singing. Wow! I really should get up early more often. I guess I’ll have to change jobs. *smile*
LOOKING OVER THE PAST WEEK
I’ve been thinking about this past week and its accomplishments. There has been more room tidying, closet cleaning and house freshening. Getting rid of some things or putting them in the garage sale pile…packing up a lot of framed family photos that I love…but I’m told are not good to have in a house you are trying to sell. Listening to concerns of a friend…praying for her and a complex situation.
As I think about complicated situations, I must remember that GOD is able to clarify them…in ways we can never imagine! He untangles them, gives us insight with time, builds backbone and courage into us when those are the last traits we want to develop! It can be easier sometimes to “go with the flow” when the “flow” is godly people who think they have our best interest at heart. But fortunately, GOD has given us little alarms that tell us when their decisions for us aren’t right.
WHAT ARE THE ALARMS GOD HAS GIVEN US FOR MAKING GOOD DECISIONS?
- The sense that this isn’t the right decision…as I move forward with the decision, I am uncomfortable with it. It doesn’t “feel” right. Yes, feelings can be very undependable. That’s why they aren’t the primary basis for my decision-making. But as I move forward in the decision I believe GOD wants me to make, GOD gives me feelings sometimes that this is the wrong decision or there is something wrong about it.
- I find myself becoming angry with people I feel are pushing in a certain direction without regard to my feelings about the issue. We have so often been told that anger is wrong that we shy away from anger as being helpful in guidance, but it can be. Are you being manipulated in one direction? Are you being pushed in a direction by people who won’t listen to what your sense of guidance is? We do need wise input from others, but in the final analysis, we are responsible to GOD for our decisions.
- See earlier post on the part fear plays in making decisions.
If so, you have reason for anger. But hear me well. You don’t have reason for holding a grudge or continuing your anger in resentment. Anger can be a symptom of a problem. It isn’t the basic problem, but a sign that something is going on in your soul. It can be a sign that you are being disrespected as a human being. Pay attention to that sign. It is not one to be ignored. Often you must reach out to people in grace, but be aware of what you are doing or you will find this anger sitting there and not know where it came from.
If you are trying to make a decision and are feeling pressure from one side that isn’t respecting your opinion, you need to ask GOD to help you communicate where you are to them in an appropriate way. Sometimes, thinking it through and writing down what you need to say is good….especially if you haven’t done it often. You don’t want to dishonor and disrespect them as payback.
HOW DO I CHANGE MY FEELINGS? SHOULD I?
Taking responsibility for yourself includes taking responsibility for and owning your feelings. When dealing with a problem in a relationship, you don’t start with “fixing” the other person. They may not even need to be fixed! You start with the one and only person in the universe YOU can change! YOURSELF!
If you are angry because your spouse leaves x on the floor or a friend has an irritating habit. That is more your problem than his/hers. He isn’t angry. He may not even be aware of the fact that it upsets you. So if you are at the point that you want HIM/her to change, you must first take responsibility for your anger or whatever feeling comes from that behavior.
DID YOU KNOW THAT NOT EVERYONE GETS ANGRY AT THE SAME THINGS…OR IS FEARFUL OF THE SAME THINGS?
There are lots of people who don’t get angry at something left on the floor by their spouse or an odd habit of a friend. They are only too happy to pick it up, put it away and move on. Or they are willing to leave it there until he/she decides to pick it up. We often overlook odd habits of friends.
When you decide this is an issue you want changed, you need to recognize and say, “I feel angry/irritated/fill-in-the-blank when x is left on the floor. Could you be more diligent in picking up behind yourself?” The emphasis is on I feel…not on the change wanted.
The first step is to honestly realize his/her behavior is not something done to “make you angry.” It is behavior that is probably done absent-mindedly…and because of something in you, it happens to make you angry. It isn’t necassarily a bad thing about you, just something different and maybe sinful. As you come to be more aware of this, you will be able to deal with aspects of your relationships that are difficult.
The way to get along with people is not to shove all disagreements under the carpet and pretend they aren’t there. The way to get along is to take personal responsibility when you are angry, resentful, fearful, or whatever and bring it out into the light.
Tell the person you love what you are feeling or what it is like when a certain behavior affects you…as in “I feel like a scared 10 year old when you…” “I feel like a raging maniac when you…” I feel like all is safe and secure when you…” “I feel like we can conquor the world when…” The comments don’t always have to be negative!
Well, that became quite a ramble! It’s now Wednesday and I still haven’t posted it. Since I called it a ramble, I’ll leave it here. I’m sure I’ll be talking on this subject more. We need to cover forgiveness for sure!
Where do you find anger in your life that is warning you that something is wrong?
Have you been paying attention? Have you been taking responsibility for your feelings?
Have you given the basic, underlying problem to GOD to untangle as He sees fit?