I’ve been reading a book by Jeremy Kingsley called Be Last (for an upcoming blog tour) during my quiet time in the morning. Yesterday, these words caught my attention:
“We naturally pursue what we think makes life best for us, and we react negatively when someone or something gets in the way.”
I periodically struggle with getting angry with my daughter and reacting to her negatively by raising my voice (read: yelling), snatching offending items away, or just overreacting. I’ve really been bothered by where these intense emotions are coming from. I don’t consider myself to be an “angry person.” I don’t have major trauma or unresolved hurts in my past. So what’s the source?
As I’ve prayed about it and searched my heart, I realize it’s exactly what Kingsley says. I’m a selfish person. It frustrates me when things don’t go my way or people don’t do what I want. And through a 2.5-year-old with a mind of her own and in a stage where she’s testing lots of all of her boundaries, I am confronted with my self-centeredness yet again. Rather than seeing the opportunity to teach her, I’m provoked to anger at the inconvenience.
Kingsley later prompts us to ask ourselves these questions:
- How have I defended my own reputation today?
- What was the last desire I fulfilled?
- Whose needs were most important in the last decision I made?
Defend my reputation? That’s a whole other post. Today, I’m really challenged by the last question. Am I considering my daughter’s need to be trained, to be considered, to be heard? Or am I just focused on my desire to get what I want done, when I want to get it done?
And of course, all this trickles over into every other relationship in my life.
Ugh! So much work to be done on this little heart. I’m so thankful that the Holy Spirit will clean it up if I will yield it to him.
Lord, help me to understand in a tangible way what it means to love others as well as I love myself. Let me recognize the times my own selfishness is being challenged, and teach me to react in humility and grace rather than out of anger.
How about you? Does one of those questions strike a chord with you?