Sometime last week, I was reflecting on a personal interaction I had with someone, which left a slightly sour taste in my mouth. I spent some time thinking about it and wondering if I could really do anything to change the status quo. Even though I felt like the wronged party, a part of me was saying "You know, you should just forgive and move on. You don't always have to react when people offend you."
But, I consoled myself with the fact that I tried to stay courteous and polite, and never knowingly did anything to offend the person in question. The thought of taking that extra step to actually reach out in love and do something more substantial than just saying 'hello' nicely seemed a bit too much for me.
"Well, He's still working on me", I thought to myself. Maybe I would be ready down the line...but not now.
And that's when I saw it. A giant 'STOP' sign. "He's still working on me"...has that phrase crossed the line from a sincere expression of a flawed nature and become an excuse...a crutch for me, for us?
One definition of a crutch is 'anything that serves as a temporary and often inappropriate support, supplement, or substitute.'*
Do I say "God is still working on me" when I actually mean "This is what God wants me to do, but I'm too hurt, or proud, or tired, or lazy (etc.) to actually do it, so I'll just cop out and act like I don't have the capacity to do it"?
It's true that none of us are perfect, but some habits are way past their expiration dates. How many years does it take to drop something? How long, before we realize that hanging on to some things are crippling us, obstructing the path of our destiny?
Yes, some destiny shaping qualities may take decades to hone (see Jesus, John the Baptist) but some others do not. Some things have to be cut off at the pass because they inhibit our communication with God and affect our relationship with others.
"He's still working on me" should not be an excuse for bad behavior. If I work on myself while God is working on me, the finished product will be ready much quicker...in time for me to be useful to my generation while I'm still young (well, relatively) and full of strength. The truth is that there are some things that God can't do for us - He gave us a free will for a reason. He won't come down and force us to forgive that hurt, or put our hands to the plough...life is full of choices. What should I wear today? How should I respond to this situation? How can I go on in the face of this challenge, or that obstacle?
Everything is about choices...Love is a choice. Obedience is a choice. Discipline is a choice. Stick-to-it-iveness (aka perseverance) is a choice.
I have the power to choose my attitude...my reactions...my perspective. As I thought about my choices in this particular relationship, I reminded myself that time is not my friend. We are to redeem the time.
How long will we remain 'a work in progress' while the world waits...waits earnestly for our manifestation? Let us work with God - do our part so that we can be about His business. Time is short.
Thanks for reading...stay inspired!
* From: http://dictionary.reference.com