Rashional Extrascomment (0)
July 12, 2012
Your column (Rashional Thoughts) in The Alabama Baptist is interesting. Thank you for your insights. You asked for experiences with and suggestions on the topic of dealing with a grouch.
I think God must have placed a neon sign on my forehead that reads: “All Grouches Welcome.”
My best advice is to not let their gruffness fool you. They are hurting people lashing out in the only way they know. Loving a grouch is like giving a porcupine a hug!
Look beyond their attitude and words, but don’t let them run over you. Stand your ground. Just like you have been writing about establishing boundaries, these people must be forced to follow rules. The grouch will eventually show you great respect.
This one particular man was especially grumpy to me. If I said, “Good morning,” he would say, “What good is it?” Then I would say, “God is good!”
Another time he asked me if I was getting fat. I just said, “Yes, sir!”
His wife was always giving an excuse for his behavior. One time in particular I had driven them to Birmingham to the doctor. Everything I did — the speed I drove, the lane I was traveling in, etc. — was wrong.
Finally my nerves had taken enough and when we stopped at the doctor’s office I said that I was sick and tired of him treating me like trash. The wife immediately started saying, “Oh, he didn’t mean things the way they came out.”
I told her to stop making excuses. But you know after that point in time, the grouch treated me with respect. I wish I would have stood up for myself earlier. Being assertive is not aggressive. We all have certain rights and we need to stand up for them.
I really enjoyed your column “Taming the pinball effect” in the June 7 issue and I share the struggle. I thought I would pass on what one of my pastor mentors shared with me years ago: “When trying to make decisions and choose priorities, remember there are only two things that last forever: God and people.” I have to remind myself of that sometimes. Thanks for always making us think.
“In what seems like the mundane, ordinary times in our lives, we serve an extraordinary God who knows right where we are. During those moments when everything is given over completely to the Lord, that is when God is able to do extraordinary things in and through us.”
Excellent column — “Oh, no, here she comes ... run” — in February. It was rashionally thought-provoking. I look forward to your column each month.
By Erich Bridges
Global correspondent, International Mission Board
Don’t just do something; stand there.
Better yet, kneel there. Be there.
It’s easy to switch the verbs in the old, accusatory challenge to do something — anything — rather than stand around. Lots of preachers, speakers and writers invert the familiar phrase to encourage us to slow down and be still. But it’s hard for us action-oriented Americans to stop and just be. Inaction, even for a moment, seems lazy, unproductive, even weird. We should be multitasking.
Stillness? It’s a little scary.
Yet stillness is where we meet God. To be His heart, His hands and His voice, we must lay aside the sound and fury of our ceaseless activities, our personal priorities and our very selves to encounter Him. We need His heart to make a difference in the world, not our divided, selfish hearts. His hands do the healing, not our powerless hands. His voice cuts to the core of searching souls, not our meaningless chatter.
“If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me,” Jesus says. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it” (Matt. 16:24–25).
There’s plenty of positive action cited in that statement: come, take up, follow, save. Before any of that can happen, however, first there’s a negative action, an “inaction,” so to speak: deny self.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This column is an excerpt from Erich Bridges’ blog post http://worldviewconversation.blogspot.com/. Listen to an audio version at http://media1.imbresources.org/files/154/15420/15420-84831.mp3
When we spend time in God’s Word, His voice is more clear.
When we spend time worshiping God, His voice is more clear.
When we spend time focusing our thoughts on Him, His voice is more clear.
Stephen Hall, associate pastor
NorthPark Baptist Church, Trussville