01 January 2016

a new year

I know he looks like a big dork.  And Matt doesn't only LOOK like a big dork. 
But he's also wise.  

And a few months ago, he gave me some really simple and powerful advice that's been making a big difference in my life.

So I'm stealing it for the New Year.
Several months ago now, I was faced with a really difficult situation inter-personally.   Panicking about the potential awkwardness, pain, anger and worst-case-senario awfulness facing me, I begged Matt to tell me what to do.  How to handle it.  What to tell myself.  How to act. How to make it be ok!  How to somehow bless the Lord, out of His strength.  
After listening and sharing and talking me through it, I was still anxious (sometimes I hate being a girl) and he finally made it EXTRA simple, 

"Stace, put two things in your mind, and cling to them, and use them for every sentence, every moment, every action, every thought, every everything.  Do not think about how you feel, do not think about what they think, do not think about ANYTHING but those two things, and I promise you will get through it, and I promise God will be glorified."

That's a good promise, isn't it.

And he was right.
You know what they were?  This is not going to shock you.

Kind and Patient.  
I convinced myself for the sake of survival that Kind and Patient were my only two options for every thought and word and action, I repeated, "Be Kind, Be Patient" a thousand times in my mind, I put EVERYTHING else behind, and I was kind.  I was patient.  
And I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that those around me could not say ANYTHING other than, "She was kind and patient!" because I clung to those babies like life-rafts and with His gracious and powerful help, I WAS.  
It wasn't until the whole thing was over that I realized that all Matt really told me to do was what the Bible tells us to do...what Jesus was always asking us to do.  

It also wasn't until the whole thing was over that I realized that part of why God TELLS us t
o be kind--to love others more than ourselves
to be patient--grace, grace, grace
is because, yes, He loves the other person, and He loves US, TOO.  

Being kind?  Being patient?  It is the very best thing for US, too.

As I killed everyone with kindness (one of mama's favorite phrases growing up) I found myself forgiving, truly.  Naturally.  As I found myself clinging to being patient, I found my expectations dissolve, my pain healing, my moments mirroring His grace.  It may or may not have changed them.  But it changed me, and it kept me dwelling on the Father, resting in His power and love, making a sour situation sweet.

So, this year.

Whether you're dealing with a jerk at the store or a deeply wounded relationship, a frustrating detail you've been over a hundred times already, a hurtful comment, an unkind co-worker, a grouchy spouse, a wild child, a painful situation, a disappointment...fight to focus with me.

Not on how we feel.  Not on what we think.  Not on our rights.  Not. On. Us.

Kind.

Patient.

Because He loves us.  Because He who NEVER did ANYONE any wrong was kind and patient and DIED.  And because of the great Promise...

Love your enemies, 
do good to those who hate you
bless those who curse you
pray for those who don't treat you well.

Whoever hits you on the cheek, 
offer him the other, also;
whoever takes away your coat, 
give him your shirt.

Give to everyone who asks, 
and if someone takes away what is yours,
don't demand it back.
Treat them the way you want treated.

If you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.
If you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
For even sinners do the same.

If you only lend to those from whom you expect to receive,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners to receive back the same amount.

But love your enemies, do good, and lend.
Expect nothing in return, and your reward will be great.
You will be children of the Most High
for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6

2 comments:

  1. Kind and patient! Words I need playing on repeat in my head. Thanks.

    Happy New Year

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kind......
    Patient......

    ReplyDelete