verge – noun | \ˈvərj\
: an area along the edge of a road, path, etc.
I’ve been struggling for a few weeks now to get a handle on some rather annoying personality quirks in myself. If I’m honest, I might even call them sins. I jump to conclusions, I become easily offended, I take everything so personally, and I complain when I don’t get my way. If one of the boys acted this way, I’d tell him the world doesn’t revolve around him. If a friend acted this way, I’d assume she was mad at me. Because apparently, the world does revolve around me.
Or at least that’s how I’ve been acting lately.
I’d like to blame my selfishness and self-centeredness on my circumstances or other people or my dog and cat, who actually sleep way too much to be responsible for much of anything. But if I’m honest, this one’s on me. Thankfully, God has made that much clear to me.
And I’m making progress. Within an hour or so after a big tantrum, I become aware of what I’ve done. I start to see other points of view. I recognize how the misunderstanding happened. I empathize with others. And I beg God to help me see myself clearly just a little earlier next time. Eventually, I’m hoping to recognize the pit before I actually fall into it.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
This isn’t a pity post fishing for positive affirmations. Oh sure, I could use some encouragement most days. But what I really want is some progress in my character. I want to act better, love deeper, and become more like Jesus. Many days, that goal seems like a far-off country and this the first step in the wrong direction. But recently, I feel like I am on the verge of something. Like waging this internal battle against self-centeredness might actually result in something.
And that end result? Not at all what I hoped for. I wanted the story of my life and its setting and characters to be more peaceful, predictable, easy-peasy. In fact, learning to act better, love deeper, and become more like Jesus doesn’t change other people or my circumstances at all. It only changes me.
I want respect. But instead I am called to pray for those who persecute me.
I want peace. But instead I am called to be a peacemaker.
I want love. But instead I am called to love.
I want consideration. But instead I am called to consider others better than myself.
I want preferential treatment. But instead I am called to serve the least of these.
And in all these things, my consideration, respect, peace, and love come from God. I get to be more like Jesus and more like the me God created me to be.
I have a feeling a lot of us are on the verge of becoming more like the people God created us to be. Let’s take the next step.
What’s YOUR word of the week? Drop it into the comments section, or share it on this week’s Facebook post. If you post about your word on your blog, please slip the link into a comment below so I can stop by and join you.
Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.