Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm not who I was

Brandon Heath has a song called, "I'm not who I was." I think the sentiment is exactly how I would sum up the perspective of my life when I look in the rearview mirror.

I was asked the question recently concerning how do I deal with difficult people. In the context, the person I thought of was a former colleague from some years ago. We had a good personal relationship, but seemed to have difficulties when it came to working together. At that time, I felt like my only recourse was to bring the situation to the attention of my supervisor, who actually did intervene.

But more recently, I have learned to deal with difficult people with a different perspective. Instead of looking at the person and wondering why they do the things they do, I turn the spotlight internally and ask the Lord, "Show me what it is that you want me to learn in this situation."

In one instance, I had someone who constantly bombarded me when I first arrived at church about issues that were quite trivial. Many Sundays it flustered me and it would get me so hyped up that those encounters would be with me all day. But after some time, when I stopped and asked God to "show me," this is what I learned.

Frankly, I learned that the situation really wasn't about her. In fact, even after I changed, it didn't change her actions. God was teaching me that I needed to spend more time in personal worship. He reminded me that the work I was trying to accomplish in His name could not be done in my own strength. When I learned to be prayed up and praised up before I walked through the doors, those encounters no longer had power over my day. It was a heart issue, but I had to invest my time looking into my heart instead of pointing the finger at someone else's.

So if I had to deal with that challenging co-worker now, my approach would be different. First, I would ask God to "show me what He wanted me to learn in that situation." Then, I would trust God to help me to show more grace, to be more prayerful, to respond with Christ's love in words and actions.

God is always willing to teach us, if we are willing to surrender to be more like Him.

My WOW Moment for today....I'm glad God has changed me and is changing me. I'm grateful that I can say with confidence, not boastfully, but knowing where God has brought me from.... "I'm not who I was."

So the next time you face a difficult situation or have to deal with a difficult person, are you willing to say to God," Father, show me...."

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