If you read my post Drinking Poison yesterday, I was struggling with my attitude last week when it revealed itself in unflattering ways at work.
Today was a good day to put some of my most natural attitudes and behaviors to rest and I found comfort in doing this in a couple of ways.
First, I spent a lot of time praying that the Holy Spirit would show me ways of glorifying God in EVERY situation and not just those in which I saw an opportunity to glorify Him myself.
Second, I acknowledged to God who I am in this prayer, flaws and all, and did what I have been doing in prayer the last several days: I repented and focused on the wonderful life He has given me and repeatedly did so throughout the day.
Sometimes it meant being away from my staff more than I would have liked. I’m a hands on leader and being visible and connected is an important part of that. This is O.K., though, because it is also important to allow some distance that gives my people a sense of the fact that I trust them to work independently but that they can seek me out for any reason and I will be there for them. There have been many times in the nearly three years I have been with these officers where this has been tested, but I believe they know this.
The important thing to recall here is that these spaces of time where I am not with them is a time that is best used for strengthening myself. Not physically, or emotionally, or mentally but spiritually. Little moments of time where I remind myself that He is greater and dwells in me and He is greater than he who is in the world to torment, divide, and conquer us with treachery and deceit of all kinds.
I am very fond of a quote by C. S. Lewis which reminds how to go in moments of solitude, few and fleeting though they may be. It is the kind of thought that reminds me of who I am trying not to be and also Who dwells in me:
As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people. And, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.
Here’s my advice to those who struggle with unflattering attitudes like I do: Surrender and keep praying to be surrendered to God. His Son Jesus died so you would be able to do this and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to take the place of the carnal spirit that we were born with.
That Holy Spirit is in the heart of every saved believer and surrender is the freedom we all seek. If you are not seeking this, DO! You will never for a moment regret it. Here’s how:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:8-9
Once you have made this commitment, the Holy Spirit can and will act but you must call on Him. He will act. No more self-induced sorrow acting in our own strength. That strength causes us to stumble and fall, often. The strength He provides powers us out of our nature and into His. I like His nature much better. You will too.
Go ahead now and put the Kool-Aid the world wants you to drink down.