by: Staci Landis
Sadly, some days I think I should wear the sign below. On my forehead. It's embarrassing to admit that. But the truth of the matter is, I am not the most patient person in the world. I get easily annoyed. I want to be alone sometimes. People drive me crazy. Differences in how others do things can agitate me. Pretty much, I am a hot mess. And not in a good way.
I truly desire to be the kind of person others are drawn to because of my kindness, patience, excitement and love. But I fail terribly some days. Too many days if I am really honest.
Some of us struggle with negativity and the "Debbie Downer" attitude more than others. I can't ever remember not struggling with these types of behaviors. Ever since I was young, I've had bouts of being skeptical. Pessimistic. Critical. Irritated easily. Impatient. A tendency to see the cup as half empty rather than half full.
I didn't have the best childhood. I didn't have the warmest family or a very positive home environment. That isn't an excuse, but it does help me to realize the source might be partially learned by poor examples. However, God is continually showing me that His ways are greater than my ways. The example His Son, Jesus, gave us while He walked on this earth is essential. His ways are greater than the ways I learned how to behave in my childhood. When left to my own human nature or when I am drifting away from relying on God's strength, my attitude can get quite ugly. And fast.
But ... grace. Sweet grace. The same grace I need to be forgiven for my sinful attitudes is the same grace I so desperately need to offer to others who might not do things the way I think they should. I need to give grace to the people who tend to drive me crazy at times. I'm so thankful for those godly people in my life who have been patient with me through all of my struggles and annoying habits. Oh, how I feel blessed to know that they didn't give up on me. SO grateful that God never gives up on me!
Today, I encourage you to be real. Admit your shortcomings. Confess your areas of struggle–maybe to a friend or loved one but definitely to God and to yourself. Ask Him to help you use your struggles for His glory and to help others. It isn't easy to admit the ugly parts of ourselves; however, it is essential in moving toward change. We can't change something we don't think is a problem. It has been said that "honesty is the best policy." Yes. It is. Be honest. And give it to God.
"My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)