anger, personal relationships, work

in everything, give thanks.

God is a funny and miraculous guy.
Yesterday, I posted a status to Facebook because I was having a rough morning and it said, “Open your eyes. God is trying to talk to you everywhere.” What made me realize it was I kept getting whiney on my drive to work about how bad the traffic was or how late I was running for whatever reason…and then I had to pull over for an ambulance. And I put my foot right in my mouth, and said a heartfelt prayer. And then I got whiney again (I have a 45 minute-an hour long drive, there’s time for that to happen). And I witnessed a random act of kindness as a young lady let me get in front of her and she waved back with a smile. So I smiled again and asked God to bless her commute and her Thursday. And shortly thereafter, I had to pull aside for another ambulance, and said another prayer.
As I was talking to God, I thanked Him for the wake up calls He sent me, and for the Holy Spirit alive within me that allows me to see them for what they are. I thanked Him for the opportunity to pray anonymously for at least 3 people before 8:00 in the morning.
Now, these are not things my flesh wanted to acknowledge. My flesh wanted to be irritated and complain about my circumstances. But I’ve been bombarded with signs and scripture and music recently that beckons me to give thanks in ALL THINGS, not just what I (or my flesh) deem as good things.
Today, I was pulled aside at work and told I was doing something wrong that I witness others doing on a daily basis; and I’m not trying to justify my actions – if I’m breaking a rule, that’s fine and I’ll accept the warning like an adult and I won’t lash back. But I’ve got to admit…my flesh has a hard time taking something on the chin when I know what I’m being told is not acceptable is being tolerated for other employees, and especially so when my actions are widely exaggerated, while others are blatantly ignored. When my manager left, I was a little fired up. I said to one of my co-workers, “I wish I was one of those people that could just throw the other people who I knew were breaking the rules under the bus [to management].” Because I can’t – I never feel right just saying: “Well, so-and-so does it and gets away with it! And so do so-and-so, and so-and-so, and so-and-so…”
But once I began to rationalize the situation, I started to think, “But why don’t I?” and I felt that Holy Spirit gain some ground in me and it said, “Because I don’t.” As I began to reflect on that concept, I realized that I don’t have to be a tattle tale on anyone! It’ll all come out in the end.
See, where I work, we’re lined up in cubicles, and mine is right on a main aisle. So, whatever I do gets seen by a lot of people. The people I could point out and drag down with me are not. It’s so closely set up to scripture, I can’t help but laugh!
1 Corinthians 4:5: “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” I’M in the LIGHT, THEY are in the DARK. By light, I mean I’m out in the open; and by dark, I mean off the main aisle. Whatever they do in the “dark” will eventually be exposed in God’s time table. If I just hauled off in anger and pointed out everyone else’s mistakes, I would be exposing it in MY time, like I’d be trying to steal His thunder a little bit.
I read this and find reason to give thanks to God, though, because I was getting too comfortable. I was allowing myself to slip up and break a rule just because others were doing it or doing it to a larger extent than I; and that’s no excuse. That’d be like me saying it’s okay to sin just because the world does it more than me. For example, I can’t look at God and say, “Well yeah, I had sex with my boyfriend, but at least it wasn’t a homosexual relationship…”No. Sin is sin is sin is sin. Breaking a rule, no matter the severity, is still just breaking a rule. And because I choose to follow the Lord (who commands me to work my job, as unto the Him – Colossians 3:22) and revere His Word, even here at work and apply it to my behavior as an employee, eventually when all of this comes to His judgment, I will receive praise from the Most High.
I can’t even fathom that. Anytime I read anywhere in Scripture that God rejoices over us or praises us for just following Him, it blows my mind. He created the heavens and the earth, the stars and the seas, the birds and the fish; and He created me. He’s so much greater than anything I can imagine and He’ll sing praises over me.
How could I not thank God for an opportunity like that?
I have so many reasons to be thankful, that’s just the best one! I’m thankful my boss was a wakeup call,
much like the ambulance and girl who let me in the other day. I’m thankful that He called me to only love people and not harbor resentment for others, because I’m so much better off without it! And I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit that He sent to keep me in line, for lack of a better phrase, and keep my mind right.

“But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

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