“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)
As summer starts to wind down to a close, and the long, hot days meld into one another, tempers start to flare. It’s really quite similar to the long, cold days of winter when everyone is trapped inside and too much togetherness happens. Irritations that are trivial become magnified. A snarky remark is volleyed, only to have another equally snarky remark returned. Even when I have the best intentions, weather, mood and exhaustion will at times get the best of me and I’ll wish I could take back what was said in the heat of the moment.
I’ve talked previously about a book, Imagine Heaven, by John Burke, which changed my perspective about my relationship with God, my relationship with others and my perspective on how I live my life. The above is another way it’s made me stop and think before blindly reacting.
My Heavenly Father is all about relationships. As I’ve said previously, He specifically put me in specific families, in specific locations and surrounded by specific people that He has given me the opportunity to influence with the way I relate. I get to choose how I will respond to those God puts in my path; but even then He doesn’t tell me I’m on my own. He wants me to fill up with Him first and continuously throughout the day as I relate to those I love and those I meet so that when they see me, they are really seeing a reflection of Him. I can’t reflect Him very well if I’m empty or trying to model His behavior and example without His help.
I’m not perfect and I never claimed to be. Tempers, weather and exhaustion will get the best of me more times than I like. Cabin fever, wind chills below zero and stress will get me at times too. However, the more I consciously fill up with God at the beginning of my day and continuously refuel throughout my day, the more I hope to reflect His love, His character, His example in my everyday attitude and responses.
Relationships are important to me too. Much more than simply being able to say “I’m right.”
© Cheri Swalwell 2017