On a daily basis, as a Technical Support Manager, I get to talk with people who are angry, frustrated, fearful and stressed. For a long time I allowed that to make me angry, frustrated, fearful and stressed. Then I started applying prayer work. Every morning I pray, “God, guide me in all my interactions with others. Help me be kind, patient, and empathetic. Help me deal with difficult people in a loving and tolerant way.” Through this prayer, I was set free from the constant anger, frustration and fear. I quit coming home and complaining to my husband. I decided to consider my job my ministry and began enjoying the calls. Oh! It just occurred to me … what would happen if I shot up a prayer asking God to bless the person on the other end of the phone before I started every phone call? Wouldn’t that be something? See, every day I get to help people feel better. Granted, not everyone feels better after we talk. But, many do. Many call me in an angry state and by the time we hang up they are laughing and relieved. What a gift! Such a great job to have. Thank you, God.
But then today … today I got the call that seriously pushed me over the edge. He was angry, accusing, condescending and rude. I do not respond well to those behaviors. My ego gets all bunched up and I want to retaliate. I’m sorry to say I did. My voice took on a “tone.” My heart hardened against being helpful and kind. My “judge” decided he didn’t deserve it so he wasn’t going to get it. I dug my heels in and gave him a hard time. After the call, I stormed down to my bosses office and ranted. Then, of course, I had to tell two or three other people about how nasty and unreasonable this man was. “What a jerk!” and “Who does he think he is?” were some of the kinder, cleaner phrases I used in reference to him. I nursed that baby good! Oh … I am such a good human being. Flawed and cracked and just wanting love and acceptance.
Tonight as I read my devotions and prayed, I thought of this man and our interaction and of course, today’s scripture came to mind. Ugh! God! C’mon on! Really? OK…
I did a search in the Bible App on “love your enemies.” Did you know there are at least four different places in the New Testament where Jesus taught this?
- Matthew 5:44 – But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
- Luke 6:27 – But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you
- Luke 6:35 – But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.
- John 15:12 – My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
And, I’m sure there are many more hidden in the treasure of God’s Word. So, tonight I will pray for this man. Not with the expectation that my prayer will change him. That’s God’s realm. But rather with the knowledge that my prayer will change me.
God truly is working in our lives every moment making each day a Wonder-Filled Journey!