Time Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
(by Adam Wormann)
I am from New Jersey and am therefore an awesome driver, except everyone thinks I am a bad driver. I think us New Jersey drivers get a bad rap. We’re so densely populated, that you kind of have to be a little aggressive to get somewhere, otherwise you get run over. It’s kind of like being in Boston — everyone knows that Boston drivers are crazy. The thing is, they know what they’re doing. It’s just if you’re an outside visitor that you get scared. I think that’s probably what Jersey is like for other people. Though, I would have to say that one of my major downfalls is my attitude when driving. At least a couple of times a week, someone who I term a bad driver (who is usually from a state that rhymes with Mennsylvania) does something that aggravates me. Usually it’s something like:
- Driving slower than me
- Driving faster than me
- Not getting out of my way
- Getting in my way
- Moving where I would like to move
- Driving a cooler car than me
State jokes aside, it comes down to people doing something that I don’t like or bothers me causing me to get terribly angry. I guess it comes down to a “me first” attitude. My attitude during driving is not good. Then, I get angry. I’m afraid my kids are going to pick up on this one day. I actually had a friend that asked his dad, “Dad, are you ever the jerk?” (and that’s the cleaned up version).
I was reading Luke 6 this weekend. Click that link and read verses 27-36. Take a minute or two to think about that.
Jesus wants us to love our enemies. That includes bad drivers. That includes parents who try to rally people against you because you do something that doesn’t cater to their kid. That includes the township that makes your building project difficult. That includes the neighbor who brings their dog to your lawn to poop.
So how do we handle it? Do we get defensive, or do we show grace? Do we only love those who are nice to us? If we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t always do so good with the whole “love your enemies” thing. Jesus doesn’t say to tolerate them, ignore them, smile and nod, or anything else less than love. He even clarifies that by talking about giving them even more than what they want. We’re not called to put up with people, we are called to bless them.
After church or youth group this week, when the first person complains, how are you going to react? My advice: bake them a batch of brownies (not the laxative kind).
- How do you truly react to those who are antagonistic to you?
- Who have you blessed lately? Anyone who isn’t a friend?
- In your life right now, who is the enemy? What can you do to change that?
Posted on July 4, 2011