"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath[...]" - Ephesians 4:26
Recently I've suffered a major blow beneath the belt from someone in spiritual authority over me, the details of which I am not at liberty to discuss except with the closest of company, and I want to make an honest assessment of how I reacted.
It started on Monday night when I stormed out of a meeting and drove home, leaving my personal belongings at the meeting; which someone else graciously took for me. That was definitely not the appropriate response. Yes, I was tempted to speak in anger and possibly do more damage than storming out of the meeting, but I could have sat down and kept my peace until after the meeting to speak freely in private with the person who offended me. As I was driving home I didn't even want to listen to Christian music, something that indicates I'm having a moment of raw immaturity, and bought a pack of cigarettes. (Sarcasm: 'Cause we all know that will make things better...)
I'm going to go on a tangent for a moment, and say that when using a cross as a symbolic tool for ministry, it should be treated as though it were the very Cross that Jesus bled and died on. This may come across as a religious (read: dead works) sentiment that some people would like to write off, but after the things that happened on Monday night, I feel strongly that we defile the Cross when we use an imitation as a symbolic representation and then misuse it for our own purposes. For example, if you were to use a cross in human video, don't then take it after rehearsal and pretend it is a guitar or a giant sword to be used as a weapon of carnal warfare. Instead, you should put it away and leave it alone. To do otherwise, I feel, is to defile the Cross. Again, don't get your knickers in a knot as if I'm trying to lay down the law of how to treat crosses, because I am not. I am sharing with you how I feel personally about treating a cross used symbolically for ministry as the Cross.
Back to my assessment, I went home, but on the drive to my house I was very tempted to throw my phone out the window I was so upset (not exactly angry, shaken is more like it); I just did not want someone from the meeting to call me. When I got home I told my parents what happened. I did use the A-word, although some could say that I in fact used it properly, but in my heart I was using it for shock value and therefore it might as well have been F-word. After that I went to my room and stewed over the situation. I sent the person who took my stuff a text explaining my perspective of the events that happened at the meeting and then spent the rest of the night writing. The next day I called the person who offended me and apologized for my reaction at the meeting and explained to them why I reacted in that manner. The person called back, but I did not answer because I was afraid that I would say something I'd later regret. That was probably a wise choice because I was still pretty shaken up about the events that happened at meeting. The person left a voicemail basically saying that they were not going to acknowledge any wrongdoing and that I was not owning up to all of my faults and proceeded to list these faults. The first time I listened to this voicemail, I literally did not make it through the whole voicemail before throwing my phone against the wall.
Well, that was really immature of me. I kind of chuckle now, seeing as how childish I was being, that I let someone get under my skin like that. I'm sure a lot of people have felt that way at times, though most people manage not to chuck their phone. I was using a lot of profanity as I rifled through my cluttered desk and things looking for that little phone battery, but did not find it. After about 20 minutes of looking around for it in vain, I bit my lip and drove to the store and bought the cheapest phone I could find. When I had gotten home and charged my phone, I listened to the voicemail that had stirred me to anger in a way which I reacted by throwing my first phone, and listened the whole way through. There was nothing new on the message, the gist of which I had caught the first time. So I went to bed and was relieved that I did not have to go to work that night since it was already 15:42.
I could write myself a grade and score myself based on the positive reactions and negative reactions, but that's not how God operates. Sin is sin. (James 2:10) Fortunately, God has already paid for the price of my immaturity and lack of restraint; He forgives me even though I don't deserve forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) So how did I do? I failed miserably, but the grace of Jesus Christ has covered that and is teaching me to seek Him for a solution to temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13) God will use this for His purpose, even if I can't see exactly what that purpose is. (Romans 8:28)
I'm not doing this for glory, but for transparency. Do not misunderstand my conclusion, I made mistakes and what I did was wrong, and the sacrifice of Jesus does not justify what I did. The grace of God simply means that I do not have wallow in guilt, because I am blameless in His sight. I want you all to know that I am not perfect, I am still partly human and slowly dying to my flesh, but not there yet.
Hoc est verum,