We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ. 1 Corinthians 9:12 (NLT)
Paul took more than his share of criticism in the course of his ministry. There were those who didn’t like what he said, and there were those who didn’t like the way he said what he said. I’m sure if he had hair there were those who didn’t like the way he parted it or the kind of gel he used to slick it down (or spike it up)!
While Paul got into plenty of scrapes, physical and relational – he kept his focus on spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.
You can’t do that with a short fuse!
I don’t have a particularly short fuse; in fact, it may be a little too long. But it’s not without end. I have “lost it” on occasion.
Yesterday was one of those days. I talked with two…no, make that three people who got the brunt of my anger over situations they had not created.
The first person was a representative of my doctor’s office that sends out invoices to patients. I couldn’t understand their statement and I couldn’t help her understand my confusion. Grrrr!
The second was my car insurance representative. He was trying to settle my claim, and I growled before he even opened his mouth.
The third was my bride – (if you’re reading this, I’m sorry….again). She just had the misfortune of being in the same county with me after the first two confrontations.
I don’t handle the end of the fuse very well. And this morning I’m paying the price (which only seems fair, as I’d made everyone else pay the price yesterday).
Conflict exhausts me like nothing else on earth. One conflict requires a nap and ice cream. Two conflicts require at least a day to get back in my right mind. Three spats in one day??? See you in the rapture!
I’m back to the drawing board with my attitude. After much prayer I believe what God has spoken to my heart is a somber reminder for this disciple. If I were to put words in God’s mouth, what he said to me early this morning was:
Say, Russell, I gave you three opportunities to speak a word that would spread the Good News yesterday…..how’s that workin’ for ya, son?
The point is that all three of my conversations could not possibly have led to me witnessing of the Good News, when I was busy witnessing of my poor attitude.
I’ll probably make that mistake again sometime. But, hopefully I will grow more faithful with my awareness of opportunities not to be an obstacle to the Good News.