Have you ever been steamrolled? Or rather, were you the one seated behind the steering wheel, foot on the pedal, with a look of glazed determination in your eyes? Well, I was steamrolled this past weekend by a distant cousin and I’m still recovering. I felt as though I had been flattened into the earth, and all I could do was crawl out of the ground, limp away, and hope that I was still in one piece. I really wanted to tell you exactly what she did, but I don’t know what good that would have done, so I changed my mind. I can tell you, though, how her actions affected my thinking.
If nothing else, the experience made me think about how fragile relationships are and the impact that one person’s self-centeredness can have on those around them. I had to talk to God about the experience. While I was still figuring out how to deal with my injured heart and my rage, God reminded me of those times in the past when I also wore a hard hat and revved up an engine or two. I remembered people who encountered my stubbornness and had to dust themselves off as I rolled through. I know it sounds ugly, but it’s nevertheless the truth.
I can tell you this… I regret my meanness. I repented and asked God for forgiveness. Over the years, I’ve even contacted some of those I’ve offended and asked for their forgiveness as well. Why? I wanted them to know that I recognized that I injured them and I was sorry for the pain, disrespect, and or frustration I caused. I’ve found that when someone has been injured, he/she can carry around a wounded heart for years and not even know that the wound is still there. Hopefully, my honesty helped a little part of a heart to heal.
So let’s think for a moment. Have you ever steamrolled over anyone trying to get your needs met, your point across, or your idea accepted? I have. Has anyone called you ‘bossy’? My immediate family used to say that I was bossy. Bossy was just another way of saying I was inconsiderate, pushy, and a ‘know-it-all’. I didn’t want my children to be that way; I am their role model. So, when God revealed to me that I needed to change, I agreed with Him. I asked Him to teach me how to be more loving and less opinionated. I thank God that a day came when I didn’t need to be in charge all of the time. The Holy Spirit is teaching me how to resist the impulse to be overly assertive or manipulative. He is changing my heart so that I don’t want to be overbearing. I believe that He led me to reread 1 Corinthians, the 13th chapter in order to help me understand the importance of building relationships instead of walls of disrespect. Here are the first eight verses:
I may speak in different languages of people or even angels.
But if I do not have love,
I am only a noisy bell or a crashing cymbal.
I may have the gift of prophecy.
I may understand all the secret things of God
and have all knowledge,
and I may have faith so great I can move mountains.
But even with all these things, if I do not have love,
then I am nothing.
I may give away everything I have,
and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned.
But I gain nothing if I do not have love.
Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.
Love is not rude, is not selfish,
and does not get upset with others.
Love does not count up wrongs that have been done.
Love is not happy with evil but is happy with the truth.
Love patiently accepts all things.
It always trusts, always hopes,
and always remains strong.
Love never ends.
[New Century Version]
It’s growing late, so I will have to finish next time. I hope that you will return. You see, I’d like to share with you what God is teaching me about getting your way at any price.
Until next time, choose to love passionately and enjoy the journey!