Menu- Oatmeal w/apples, almonds & raisins, grapefruit, cashews, quinoa salad, minestrone soup.
It was a long day but I learned something quite valuable about myself. I may be able to get up early but having to get up at 3:00 AM is my ‘Have a Snickers’ breaking point. I was quite irritable with my micromanaging boss this morning. I really wanted to slap her every time she spoke to me. I continuously tried to cover with the sarcastic smile that did not disguise my feelings in the moment. At one point, I even tried to step away and ask God to give me strength. Instead, he told me to apologize to her before I leave.
This is what fasting will get you. As I said yesterday (Day 10), I am much more sensitive to God’s will for my life and who he wants me to be, due to denying the flesh its desires. As I tried to get out of this apology, I kept hearing a song’s refrain from more than 25 years ago. “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love!”
“By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”John 13:35 NIV
This apology wasn’t about me. This was about Christ who I represent. It was particularly important with this person who knows I am a Jesus Lover. I am also aware that I could be the only Jesus she sees. I was not accountable for her attitude. I was accountable for mine.
“Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.”Ephesians 4:32 AMP
There has to be a difference between Christ followers and unbelievers. Our reactions to poor behavior must be love. It cannot be explained. It most likely will not be deserved. But that’s grace. It’s the same grace we receive everyday from God. So, how dare I attempt to debate God on why I shouldn’t apologize for my bad attitude. My apology isn’t just to her, it’s to him. It’s to the breath of God that is within her and all of us.
So, before I walked out the door, I stopped. I looked her in the eyes and said, “Please forgive my irritable attitude this morning.” I apologized sincerely. She smiled with a look of surprise and appreciation and said, “No problem. I understand. I’m the same way.” I smiled back and walked to my car, feeling God’s loving presence and knowing he was pleased.