It has recently come to my attention, during the year 2009 I guess, that I can be quite obnoxious. Since I came to this postulation, I have been analyzing my own motives as to why I tend to get on my friends nerves from time to time, which of course is my perception – they’ve not just come forth to say to me, “Kevin, you’re really on my nerves.” I guess my realization has come as I’ve seen myself in others who, at times, get on my nerves. Though my friends may not say it, I have noticed a disdain of sorts in a response to my statement here and there from this one and that one. Not all of the time, of course, but periodically.
“What could be wrong with them?”, I’ve asked myself on occasion. Then it dawned on me that I was the common denominator on every scene. I began to change the question. “What’s wrong with me?” You know they say if seven horses stand at a pond and six won’t drink the water, but the one will, there’s something wrong with the water. But if the six drink it and the one won’t, there’s probably something wrong with the horse. Time for a reality check, Kevin.
What I’ve discovered about myself is that I have a love for truth and justice. Is there anything wrong with that? You see, I believe that every gift from God has a warning track – a place where you can go overboard. Too much of a good thing is excessive, even if it is good. For instance, I’m a peace-maker. That’s a good thing. Jesus said I’m blessed for that. But my warning track for that is that I can become a people-pleaser while trying to be a peace maker. I want everyone to be at peace. I can’t live my own life in peace until everyone has peace. Since that never happens, I am in jeopardy. I must learn to be balanced in the gifts God has given. I also am a leader/shepherd, but I have noticed a bit of manipulation in my gift. I perceive that this path is the best one to take and am a bit peeved when someone doesn’t take it. Once I have made my stand on the proper path to take, whether it has to do with the smallest things in life or it has to do with eternity, I find myself slighted, undermined and misunderstood when others take a different path. “Why would they do so when this is so obviously the best path?” My leadership compels me to urge them to the “correct” path but my humanity taints my response to their response and causes me to begin the push… the obnoxious push. A short while ago I tweeted, “Just lead. Don’t push.” It solicited many retweets. Maybe I’m not the only one.
I recently was called upon to preach the funeral of a man who committed suicide to spare his family the processes of a fatal illness. I found myself so conflicted emotionally and philosophically. Part of me understood and part of me felt he had taken the cheaters way out. I sensed those emotions were in the crowd as well. Then I realized that it was not my job to hold this man to my perceived standard of justice. It was my job to remind the people that God is the Judge and that He is faithful. I released peace to them and entrusted them back into the hand of the Father. This is what Christ did on a daily basis. He delivered the new philosophy of the Kingdom and then left them to the dealings of the Father by the Holy Spirit. My anger, which triggers my obnoxious behavior, stems from a leadership gift that feels that its lost control. Jesus knew who He was and saved His anger for those who victimized the crowd in the name of religion. They were the wolves and the goats. But with the sheep, He kept His cool and never took their rejection personally.
God, help me to trust daily in You and Your care for my life. Not holding people around me to the letter of the “law” does not compromise my love for truth and justice. It simply puts me in the balanced place of Christ’s likeness. In the words of my late, great Uncle Frank Jones, “Some people try to out-Jesus Jesus.” I’d just rather follow Him.