Have you ever met a person who is so beautiful or handsome in appearance until they open their mouth and you automatically think, "o_O never mind". Or what about the person who appears to be nice, funny, and on top of their game but all their partnerships fall through? You attempt to work with them and find out "ohhhh that's why". These are instances of their inner man pouring out and tainting the appearance of the outer man.
No matter how hard we front, all those things that we deal with on the inside, personality, characteristics, and spirits, soon pour out and there is no amount of makeup, designer bags, degrees, new electronics, or Jordans that can prevent that from happening. That is why God asks us to work on improving our inner man just as we do the outer.
1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
As I sat thinking about what to write this week I had a mini movie play in my mind. It featured me, my attitude, and my smart mouth! I was already very aware that greatness was not the only thing pouring out of me as I replayed this daydream movie, so it wasn’t a hard-hitting surprise to be reminded of how horrible I acted this past week.
*sidenote* The only reason I add ‘greatness’ to this mix is because this month has had a lot of positive
things happen and a lot of positive collaborations have been formed. Things declared in recent months are showing themselves fulfilled and it's been great. But on the other hand this attitude that I have not fully conquered along with my smart mouth has been uncontrollably oozing out. Not cute and very much ineffective for ministry. So here is what I’m saying: Just because things are going right in your life doesn’t mean that everything is going right IN your life. Does that make sense? Ok, let me try it this way: There is always time to check yourself! Especially when things are going well.
Not everyone is able to view this side of me and I often do a good job of not allowing it out. But from about last Tuesday (8/6) to this Thursday (8/15) it was on display just about everyday, depending on who I was around.
What were the causes?
1) I hate to be thrown under the bus
2) I don’t like when I’m left out because others are mad at me
3) I dislike when people make me feel guilty about something when I had nothing but good intentions
4) I don’t like when I can’t speak my mind when I’m angry (gotta work on my filter)
5) I cannot stand when I don’t get my way lol
As I made this list I had to tell myself, “Wow really Mel, you should have been over all that. You just spent a WHOLE week talking about forgiveness as you walked around angry with a hint of unforgiveness in your heart.” Smh I know, I know…it’s better now.
Anyways, I was dealing with all those things listed above and my responses were less than what God expects from me. I can say that I don’t think I passed tests last week.
One thing I am happy about is I realized what was going on the entire time and I prayed and asked for God to help me get past myself so that I could continue to effectively minister. All week I was forced to face the fact that I shut down on people and my responsibilities and stared at them more than I worked and it was hurting others and me!
Checking my attitude was easy…check there it is! I was very aware of it but actually fixing my attitude was a whole other issue. It was sooo difficult. I think back to what was pouring out of me and it was no wonder that certain people steered clear, others approached me with an attitude, and others felt the need to lecture me and explain every move they were making. God was not shining through me at all. I was a walking ball of flesh and emotions and that saddened me.
I don’t know how many blessing I missed out on last week because of my attitude that I turned on and off depending on where I was. But I will say that the thing that caused me to turn it off and leave it off was that God still found it fit to answer my prayers from the previous week and bless me not once but twice. In the midst of complaints and being angry he still blessed me—Twice! After the second time, I was immediately convicted, went into praise mode and repented for how ugly I had been towards him, myself, and his other children.
It snapped me back into the proper attitude and between Thurs and today I have gotten more done than I have in the last couple weeks with no complaints. Not only that, I have reconciled with the people that I was all funky with and several doors have opened in just these few days.
Today I write this post as a reminder that we all have to work on our inner man no matter how awesome we think we are. We may think we are holding it all together neatly and in a presentable package but the reality is the true self will show itself given the right catalyst. Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. This goes for the wrong that is done behind closed doors but also for the wrong that goes on within that we do not take proper steps to rectify. My catalyst last week was a simple statement and side eye that threw me off for a whole week. Something so small caused something so ugly to pour out of me.
My questions to you are what is pouring out of you and how is that affecting your blessings?
See you in the dailies!
Since I mentioned forgiveness up there at some point why don’t you check out the daily devotions from last week dealing with it!
Monday: How unforgiveness puts our freedom on the line
Tuesday: Which sin is greater?
Wednesday: What condemning and judgment will do
Thursday: When do we apply “only God can judge me”?
Friday: Who will avenge? You or God?
Saturday The final act of forgiveness!
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