|“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. |
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…”
Temper! Temper! Temper!
More and more, as I press onward along the road of life and move from old man to older man, I am confronted with the reality that so many things annoy me I believe I have become even more irrascible than ever. I have always had the reputation of being somewhat unapproachable. In fact, just this past Sunday at church a woman whom I greatly admire told me that I am hard to engage in conversation.
Her words actually stung. I felt quite hurt. I smiled at her and she quickly tried to walk her comments back by saying she was “just kidding.” But, I know she really meant what she said.
I am difficult to approach. But, I am not nearly as mean as people think. I am very, very shy.
I will not bore you with what the psychological analysis disclosed when I sought help trying to lose weight during 18 months of counseling back in the mid-1980s. I finally stopped spending $130 each week when my psychiatrist fell asleep during my counseling session. Not only am I shy, I apparently am very boring, as well.
I do think that I need to make more of an effort to not let my disappointment with the way things are going in this nation, in the church, and even in my own life, interfere with extending kindness of spirit and openness to those who may wish to speak with me. Rather, I need to willingly allow people to have access to the gracious spirit that God has been building deep within me over a lifetime. I am quite certain that’s what Jesus would expect me to do.
Perhaps, these words—in a humorous way—can sum up what I feel much of the time:
|“When I was a young man, I realized I was an idiot. |
I presumed that as I aged, I would become less of an idiot.
But now that I am old, I realize that I am just an old idiot.”
|—Dan Karroll Williamson|
I think James Taylor says it best in the song offered in the following video:
Okay, so the “mean old man”s is really a soft-hearted puppy dog after all. Who knew?