I went to a pre-Thanksgiving party at my friend’s place last night. I really enjoyed myself (and the food) for the most part, and the company was mostly great. But one person just kept getting on my nerves. Honestly, she might have been the most stuck up, arrogant, unfiltered, and just plain annoying people I have ever had the misfortune of being in a room with for a prolonged period of time. I spent most of the time when she was over just on my phone checking Facebook, because if I actually paid attention to what she was saying I may have actually lost my cool and done something stupid. I seriously was close to throwing a drink in her face after some of the insults she hurled at me and at my friends. It was upsetting, to say the least. I think I’ve gotten so used to grace that I expect it from everyone I meet, even if he or she is not a Christian. I would have thought that even if people didn’t believe the same things I believed that we would still be able to carry out a normal conversation. Nope. Let’s just say I was relieved and glad when she finally left.
As I analyze myself through this situation though, I find myself at a crossroads. I’m glad I didn’t do anything stupid, and I’m thankful my friends didn’t do anything either (I could tell a lot of them were close). For me, it really took everything in me to hold myself back from both saying something completely stupid - and I hate to admit a couple of obscenities came out because of her - and doing something completely stupid. And then I look at Jesus and how effortless it was for Him to love people who spat in His face. Instead of holding back, He opened His arms to them and loved them, because He knew that’s what they really needed. All the while, I was too angry to even think about her mental or spiritual state last night. I was completely focused on not losing my cool. But looking back, I do feel a little sad. I wish I had been a better example of Christ. Because behind all of the coarse talk and insults, there was a heart there that needed Jesus.
I’m seriously in awe that Jesus loves her. It’s so amazing to think that Jesus also died to redeem her life. And it served as a reminder that I need Christ in my life so much. Especially recently, I’ve seen arrogance and anger start to take over my life. Just because I’ve been saved by redeeming grace does not mean I’m already perfect. I can’t lose sight of the goal of Christ, while remembering that it’s not by my own power that I can reach that height. I have to rely on Jesus and commit my life to Him as my Lord. When in the context of His glory, I am nothing but a speck.
There’s always the metaphor of our faith being like a seed or like a tree in the Bible (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). My favorite, though, is Psalm 1:
The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
It’ll take time. It’ll take effort. But I have faith that God can change my wretched and sinful soul. I have faith that Christ can alleviate my arrogance and my anger. And if I plant myself by the streams of Jesus’ blood which washed me clean, I know that one day in God’s timing I will yield my fruit.