“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23
Basically Paul is trying to get the point across that the only way to have the fruit of the Spirit is to consistently spend time with God. We can’t do it in our own power. It is only possible only through the grace of God.
Despite looking for the Spirit to help, I still find myself not acting the way I should when dealing with people, especially when frustrated or angry.
Let me get more specific and talk about a situation I’ve been dealing with when it comes to my nurses. You are probably tired of me complaining about my nurses but I need to use the situations I have to illustrate my points sometimes. I hope you take it as that, an illustration of my point and not being ungrateful for the help I get.
At least half of my nurses have a habit of being on their phone at work. I used to be okay with it as long as it was during down time they have. But people don’t have the same respect for others that they had in the past. It seems like this has gotten worse in the last 5 to 10 years. I realize respect has been on the decline for much longer but it has been more noticeable to me in recent years.
Back to the problem. Nurses started being so occupied with their phone calls that they don’t hear or understand me. I’m hard enough to understand. Some started having phone calls while actively doing things for me that they really need to pay attention to. One took a conference call. Another came into the room talking so loud that my family couldn’t hear what they were watching. Then she had the nerve to get mad when she was told to get off the phone. And most recently one almost gave me medication I didn’t ask for because they were distracted by their phone. Thankfully I caught it and wasn’t something that would be dangerous.
Since they couldn’t respect the nice boundary of not using the phone we talked to our agency and set a new rule that they aren’t aloud to use the phone period barring a family emergency.
This worked for awhile. But slowly they have started sneaking calls and by Thursday, the nurse was just outright using the phone. I’m sitting here trying to have some quiet time with God and she’s talking with the phone on speaker. And earlier in the day I tried speaking nicely and asking for ten minutes of quiet. What did that get me? Ignored. I tried raising my voice. Yes, if I get mad enough I can do that but not very well. I still got ignored. If I wasn’t alone they would have been kicked out. I think they were counting on my not being able to do anything. The agency was told what happened. But if the agency can’t or won’t expect their nurses to be professional then my family and I will have to start firing people on the spot. But then I have to train someone new and my parents will lose money from not working. But they are putting me in danger when they are that distracted.
While their behavior is inexcusable, I don’t have to let their behavior dictate how I act. Some behavior and situations do require a stronger response but I should try peaceful means first.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God. – Matthew 5:9
I like how the New Living Translation puts it.
God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
Some people think this means that they have to make sure there is always peace. This is unbiblical. In Romans 12 Paul says
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
He says if it’s possible and as far as it depends on you,. So it isn’t always possible for an individual to make peace. Some people are just so hellbent on getting there way or “winning” an argument that it can’t end peacefully. Just like some of my nurses are determined to thumb their noses at me and do whatever they want. They’ll get to do that but it won’t be continuing to work with me.
I can’t control how someone else reacts. I can only control how I act. I don’t have to put up with bad behavior but I don’t have to be just as big of an ass as them. The problem I have is letting my anger get the best of me and acting out of emotion. People seem to have mixed opinions on anger. Some will use scripture to justify their anger while others think it is a sin. I don’t agree with either of these. I don’t think feeling angry is a sin but a lot of the things we do with that anger are sinful. And we shouldn’t hold on to anger either.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Ephesians 4:17-18
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. – Ephesians 4:31
We are going to get angry. It happens to the best of us. But we don’t have to react to it like the rest of the world. Actually if we claim to be disciples of Christ we shouldn’t.
I got way off of my original topic. The reasons I was doing rather good with spending time with God but still am missing the mark with displaying are many. First, it takes time if I hadn’t been in the habit of spending time with God. It takes time for a true heart change to take place. Another reason is that I was focusing too much on what others were doing and how I wasn’t being treated the way I should. This may have been true but I am to to act in line with Christ. Also, I have to take time throughout the day to spend time with God. I can’t do one devotional in the morning and be fine the rest of the day. It doesn’t have to take long. Sometimes it can just be a quick prayer thanking him or asking him for guidance in a situation. This last one is something I have started doing but definitely need practice at. But I can say that when I do I make much better decisions.
But still, controlling my anger is hard.