Hello everyone! When I went to bed last night, I had no intention of writing a blog about this particular subject today. I actually had two other subjects to choose from. Why the change? I was driving to work yesterday and thinking about an interaction with another person I had a week before. This person seems like they have an angry streak even though I believe them to be a good person. Our interaction ended poorly but not just because he was angry but because I got angry too. I realized yesterday that for me, when the right buttons are pushed, I have an impatient, angry streak too. It showed up in our interaction last week too. This realization made me go “hmmmmm…” I believe Jesus was shining a light in this area because much healing has been done and I was ready to listen. What he showed me yesterday is that I allowed this man to trigger me based on something from my past – in fact, I’ve allowed this a lot and not even realized it. Note I said I allowed this to happen. Why do I say this? No one can upset me for any reason unless I choose to let them push my buttons. I have control of my emotions, my words, my thoughts and my actions. I can think of a few times in the last year that I have chosen not to control how I reacted based on someone else’s feelings, words or actions. I had to say to myself, “wait a minute, this has been a blind spot for me. I am saying the same thing about someone else but I’m doing the exact same thing they are doing, just maybe for different reasons!” I am thankful that Jesus showed me this issue. This kind of hot headedness and reactionary approach has no place in the ministry he has for me – not in writing nor in anti-sex trafficking and other inner city work.
This week has certainly been a week of epiphanies for me! Just as I don’t walk and refuse to walk in shame and rejection – I refuse to walk in any form of anger or pride. I think this type of anger is largely fueled by pride. I won’t reach people with writing in anger. I won’t reach girls, boys, men and women who have survived sex trafficking with anger. I won’t reach those in some of the hardest and darkest places in our city with anger. In working with those from hard places, they won’t always be kind or nice. They won’t always be happy or cheerful and they won’t always agree with me nor I with them. However, I can’t let what they do or say allow me to react in anger and in pride. If I do, I will lose them and Jesus will not be glorified. They’ve had enough people react angrily to them! This blog is advice to myself as well as anyone else who has struggled with anger and pride. Anger and pride have no place in ministry – those are instruments of Satan he has used to already harm too many people. I won’t help him do it anymore, period. When I spoke to this man a week ago, here is what I needed to do. When I realized he was pushing my buttons or triggering me, whatever you want to call it, I needed to step back and take that to Jesus instead of reacting equally hot headed. Yesterday, I asked Jesus what pushed my buttons. Is there still anything he needs to deal with in my heart? I’m going to be listening for the answer. I will be stepping back when this happens again – and I assure you as long as I live it will happen again in some other circumstance with someone else. This gentlemen and I have reached an understanding at this point. I reached out on my own to do this because I believe it was the right thing to do once I realized I had simply reacted in the same manner he had. This situation had the best possible outcome, but it could have been avoided entirely.
I am here to tell everyone reading this that anger and pride have no place in ministry or in our lives. Anger and pride serve to do two things – puff us up and drive wedges in between you and others – and usually for ridiculous, non-eternal things. Pride and anger are Satan’s kingdom way. I want no part of that – you don’t either. This blog is as much for me as it is for anyone else reading this today. I choose Jesus’ way! What do you choose? Thankful for revelation, Elizabeth