During our last family holiday, despite feeling very relaxed I found myself throwing ugly tempers. At the hotel check-in, I made a big fuss about their insistence on extra daily charges for having 3 guests in the room. During dinner, I used sarcastic words when I felt my opinions were not heard. It tensed the atmosphere and dampened the holiday mood. Above all, it showed poorly of my Christian testimony, especially to my wife and children.
Though it was not wrong to fight for my rights or speak my mind, it was less about the fact that the extra charge was not stated on their booking website at the point of booking nor about whether my opinion about dinner is better. What is more important is whether I had shown sensitivity and consideration towards others. Did my words or vocal tones built or destroyed others around me?
Because the real person in us shows up in a crunch, how we react to others testifies loudest about Jesus in our lives. Bitter angry words can be used to hit back and destroy others but in the process, it also destroy our Christian testimony and tarnish the name of Jesus.
Therefore, we must observe ourselves carefully and recognize triggers that may cause us to boil over. Sometimes the triggers may be from hunger or tiredness, expectations put on us that is beyond our abilities or time to deliver, we may have too many to-do’s on our plate, or we not good at verbalizing issues and asking help from others.
It is helpful therefore to ask someone close to us to provide feedback. My wife is my accountability partner. She would gives me a certain look when I get into such mode and if I still did not get it, she would tell me later after I have calmed down.
After recognizing the triggers, we must learn to manage our reactions. But sometimes we find it hard to manage ourselves. Our bitter reactions may be an overflow from our lives’ past disappointments, insecurity and/or unresolved hurts and wounds in our hearts. Surrender these at the foot of the Cross to Jesus. He is our Healer, Protector and All-sufficient Provider (if you need someone to talk to, pray for or walk with in this area, come up to the Pulpit area after Service for prayer)
Not everyone is called to be a missionary, but everyone is called to share the Gospel and their testimony about Jesus in their lives. The loudest of our testimony is heard from our reaction in crunched times. If we are able to show restraint, sensitivity and consideration to others above ourselves, it speaks well about the person we are and our testimony about Jesus in our lives.
Paul urged the believers, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (Heb 12:14-15).
In the course of our daily lives, learn to recognize triggers that cause us to blow our tops in crunched times. Ask someone close to you to be your accountability partner. Pray. Ask the Lord for wisdom and rely on His mighty power to instead respond in love, grace and consideration of others. Trust that Father God will provide sufficiently for all your needs. Make every effort to live in peace with all men.
By Sam Tan (YCKC Bulletin 1&2 September 2018)