I have never had so many people angry at me at one time as I have had in the past couple of weeks. There have been family issues, work issues...to be honest...there have been issues on just about every front.
I have also had a few people ask me recently if I was angry about something when I wasn't. So, it got me to thinking. I am not always aware of how I come across. When I am overwhelmed, or burdened, or worried, or afraid...I think I can appear angry when in reality, my mind is totally somewhere else. The other thing that happens is that I am not as careful towards others as I normally am.
Another side of the coin is that sometimes, I am angry...really angry. Last week one person in our office was not helping out when we were in a bit of a crisis...you know those "all hands on deck" kind of times. I thought about asking someone else to say something to this person. I figured that wouldn't be fair, so I bit the bullet and told the person to get to work. Later, that person posted something that made me mad every time I saw it. I could feel my temperature rising....my eyes going back to the passive-aggressive message every few minutes. I thought of a hundred smart-aleck responses and even started to type a few in response. I finally closed myself in my office and just begged God to bring my heart to a place of repentance. I posted the name of Jesus right next to the other person's post...so that my eyes would be drawn to His name instead of the other.
The old me would have struck back and struck hard. I grew up with three brothers and I lived with an angry man for 23 years. I know how to throw down. And I have. And there have been times when I know I have brought shame to the name of my Lord with my angry behavior. Nowadays, I recognize that there are other things more important than being right, or being the strongest, or winning.
So, I have been spending the past few days rebuilding. There was the phone call to a co-worker who was rude to me because he thought I was being rude to him. I called him and said I was sorry for anything in my tone that may have given him the impression that I was being rude. We ended up laughing together and he worked harder on the next project I needed him for than he would have the day before. There was a visit to a family member who had gossiped about me and judged me unfairly. I just tried to be as friendly and loving as I could. The jury is still out on this one, but at least there remains an open door between us. This weekend there was another family member who I had inadvertently offended when I disagreed on a position that I thought was benign. I dropped in to tell that person that I loved her and was sorry that I had hurt her and promised I would be more careful going forward. Her smile was a mile wide when we parted.
I am trying to be more careful with my interactions with others, to be watchful of the climate we find ourselves in, to keep myself in the present and not let distractions make me appear uncaring or unloving.
Image taken from here.