Those unfortunate ouch moments can be our worst nightmares. Even though our intentions were good, the results weren’t what we intended. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
One of the worst things that we can do in life is unintentionally hurt someone without even the least effort in doing so. Recently, in an effort to help someone with a logistical issue on the job, a friend of mine discovered that she had done the exact opposite without any malice on her part. Her kind words supporting the her friend with coworkers were delivered with the best of intentions, but when word of them got back to her friend through the office grapevine they were terribly misconstrued, and her friend was deeply offended to the point of nasty words being exchanged when the two met at the copy machine later that day. It was one of those blindside hits that leaves you breathless as my friend called me looking for comfort and support in the wake of some terribly hurt feelings. Fortunately, she subsequently addressed the issue with her friend and things were worked out and hurt feelings calmed. Nevertheless, those moments when our best of intentions are misinterpreted, always live in the realm of possibilities.
Those unfortunate ouch moments can be our worst nightmares. Even though our intentions were good, the results weren’t what we intended.
Here’s a story from author Richard Dunagin: At their school carnival, our kids won four free goldfish (lucky us!), so out I went Saturday morning to find an aquarium. The first few I priced ranged from $40 to $70. Then I spotted it–right in the aisle: a discarded 10-gallon display tank, complete with gravel and filter--for a mere five bucks. Sold! Of course, it was nasty dirty, but the savings made the two hours of clean-up a breeze. Those four new fish looked great in their new home, at least for the first day. But by Sunday one had died. Too bad, but three remained. Monday morning revealed a second casualty, and by Monday night a third goldfish had gone belly up. We called in an expert, a member of our church who has a 30-gallon tank. It didn’t take him long to discover the problem: I had washed the tank with soap, an absolute no-no. My uninformed efforts had destroyed the very lives I was trying to protect. (Richard L. Dunagin.)
There’s a lesson here for us as Christians. Often we strike out on our own spiritual journeys, filled with righteous fervor and a determined spirit–Onward Christian Soldiers! It’s at time like this that God will often turn our best of intentions into an emotional turning point in our lives. At first we feel shocked and hurt. “Why God? I just wanted to do good for you? I never meant to persecute you. Is that what I am doing?” His response may hurt but it is always gracious. “Yes my child. Your zeal is misplaced. This life isn’t about you, it’s about me. Why are you persecuting me with your self will?” Ouch! It’s the opposite of what we intended, but the result is the same. Things need to be fixed in a hurry. It starts when we seek his will before our zeal. It ends when we submit ourselves daily to self-examination. What are our true motives? Have we taken this thought, this plan to God first? Have we prayed for a sense of timing and revealed purpose? Self-will is killer soap that, mixed with good intentions, can do the opposite of what we intented in the first place. Avoid those ouch moments; check your will at the door every day.
We pray. Sometimes we try too hard to make things happen in our lives and the lives of others when the best thing is to give those moments to you and watch the magic happen. When our best intentions turn out the opposite of our good goals, help us Lord to stop and reevaluate our purpose. Forgive us Lord when we put our zeal before your will. Thank you Lord for being patient with us when we are too zealous. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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