Finding the Holy in my daily often means responding with gentleness to the abrasive intrusions of the hour. Be it irritating drivers on the freeway or the cable company billing department, I find myself called to relate with self-controlled mindfulness.
Our large family and growing church provide continuous opportunities for criticism, thoughtless comments, and annoying attitudes to assault my air space, email inbox, telephone wires and otherwise pleasant conversations. If I am not careful in how I respond, such communications become the dictators of my own attitude.
Do you ever analyze your negative moods and realize it isn’t people who have depleted your inner peace, but your own choices in how you reacted to the actions or inactions of those people?
When we respond calmly, gently, and with thought-out wisdom, we feel better about ourselves when the communication is over—we preserve our inner peace.
How do we keep our inner peace?
Most abrasive intrusions are sudden and unexpected. I’m trying to learn to immediately grab my defenses before they switch into high gear and set them in a safe place within—usually a mental picture of sitting myself next to Jesus and under his right arm.
Next I try to separate the person from his actions. When I fail to do this, my shoes of peace come off and my combat boots get laced on tight. Any ensuing communication comes across as attacking the individual rather then dealing with his irritating actions.
Finally, I attempt to use a loving tone of voice and respectful words. Funny how these two things can convey a correction, apology, or difference of opinion in a way that binds rather than divides.
I’ve been practicing this stuff for some years now and still find my well-trained defenses are more dominate then I would like. But I am growing in this, and that is the whole point—to grow, change, and move forward with Jesus—not to have my act perfectly together.
How do you handle the abrasive intrusions of your day? How do you walk with the Holy in the midst of negative interruptions? I’d love to hear your thoughts about keeping your inner peace in the comment section below.
In Him together, Susan Gaddis