This evening I made a “quick” run to the store without having said a prayer for hours. The person in front of me at Kroger wasn’t buying anything except stamps and yet it took about 7 minutes for him to get finished up. The pressure of my yucky day and of wanting to hurry out of there so I could get home and catch up on work that I got behind on had a squeezing effect, and what came out of me was, sadly, not pretty.
I used all of that impatient body language that sends a clear grocery store line message, “I’m not happy with how slow this line is moving!” For a punctuation effect, I did finally pray, saying aloud softly but with tension, “God, help me.” (Yes, I realize that I looked like a crazy woman. At least I was polite when it was my turn!)
No one has influenced my spiritual growth more than Joyce Meyer (but don’t let my bad behavior be a reflection on her). She taught me that when you’re impatient with people, you’re failing to demonstrate the love of Christ. (She learned this the hard way, too.) So I didn’t allow the fruits of the Spirit to flow out of me in my brief encounter with society today.
I was thinking about this as I drove off toward home with my “YS 2 God” license plates. And you wonder why Christianity has a bad name? Well, it’s not all my fault – just partly.
Although I sometimes seem like a hopeless case, I’m not going to give up on my goal of allowing God to shape my character so that I’m a better reflection of Him. After all, it’s not like I’m trying to get to the good character buried inside of me. Instead, it’s getting me out of the way so that Christ can shine through that makes the dream happen.
By the way, it’s comforting to know that God’s not disappointed that ugly stuff comes out of me sometimes when I’m squeezed. He doesn’t love me any less; Jesus already knew it before He died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. And He died for me anyway. (The ultimate squeeze.)