Today was one of the worst days of work I ever had.
I was trying to complete a task that I normally complete, and then I came to a part that I do not usually have to do. While I was trained on this, I did not remember how to do it, and decided to ask one of the executives for help. She responded with 5 syllable statements and then I asked about three times what to do before she sent a long email expressing that “we went over this” and finally told me what to do. I got upset because many times I ask for help, she responds in ways that are extremely belittling. I sent her an extremely kind and respectful email simply telling her that I appreciate her help but the way she explained it was demeaning. Her response was even more belittling.
I was so upset that I told my manager about the encounter and I left work about 10 minutes earlier than normal.
The situation brought up a “WWJD” moment in my mind and although I wanted to just quit on the spot, I began to ponder about my values of respect and humility. When I was in my first year of college, I truly gave my life to God. When that happened, I began to repent of all the bad I ever did, down to elementary school. I was so consumed with guilt that I never wanted to feel that again. It was like something came over me that whenever I hurt someone or came out of character, I had to apologize for everything. I even went back and messaged people from high school that I thought I hurt. From that moment, a strong conviction came over my spirit whenever I did something to offend or hurt someone else. This turned into having a strong respect for others, and if I did lose my character, I have a strong sense of urgency to apologize.
I still lose my character, I still get angry, I still am imperfect but if I can be honest, if do get angry and say things I shouldn’t or offend someone else, it truly hurts me from the inside of my soul. I feel a strong sense of conviction.
So when this situation happened today, it truly bothered me that others don’t seem to have respect for others. This Lady offended me and all she did was justify it instead of apologizing. I forgive her and I hold nothing against her but then God showed me Acts 21-24. In this scripture Paul was almost beaten to a pulp by a crowd who tried to kill him and then he turns around, gets arrested, and asks before he gets taken away if he can speak to the crowd. He begins to testify to this crowd about how he used to kill Gods people and basically telling the crowd to turn to this God that he speaks of. The crowd’s response? Kill him. Paul goes on to testify in court. He was tortured, beaten and people even created pacts to not eat until they hunt him down and kill him. Paul showed respect to everyone he encountered regardless of how they treated him. Paul remained composed, humble, respectful, filled with poise, and stern about God. He was not moved by anything.
As I think about the situation today and other days, I begin to realize that you have to have extremely thick skin to be a child of God. You have to allow other people’s words, reactions, and responses to bounce off of you like wooden arrows on a metal suit of armor. You have the armor of God around you. God will convict these people, but we as christian will face persecution, hate, torture, and we have to endure until the end. So when we face the practice rounds of people on Instagram sending out hurtful DMs, People at work being disrespectful, angry customers, or the rude religious folk, we have to remain respectful, stern, humble, and composed.
I once saw a quote by an unknown author that states:
You can choose to be like water or soda. When soda is shaken and the top is opened, the contents bursts out. When water is shaken and the top is opened, the water is still calm. In life challenges shake us up, but we choose whether we burst or remain calm.
I encourage you to read Acts 21 and continue reading about Paul’s life. His life, besides Jesus’ is one of the greatest models, of the above quote.
Stay blessed and choose to be water, the next time you feel like bursting.