The other day I was helping out at a ministry and one of the other volunteers said something to me that intentionally or not, made me feel like she was trying to be the boss of me (even though we both were just there to help out). I tried to just let it pass and not be offended (cause I'm trying to work on that), but for the rest of the afternoon every time I went to do anything with the group, I felt like her eyes were watching me and judging me. It was so uncomfortable and I honestly couldn't wait to leave the situation. In fact it kind of ruined the afternoon for me.
The thing is, I don't think this person was trying to be bossy or rude. In fact I think she just had an idea in her head about how things should be done and I wasn't fitting into the picture, so she felt the need to say something. Has much as I didn't enjoy the "something" she had to say, I can totally understand where it came from. As humans I think we all like to have things go "according to our plans". We get an idea in our head and that's what we expect, and when other people don't live up to our expectations, we feel the need to correct them or control them into doing so. As much as I see this in the attitude of this specific person, I also see that in myself. I mean even in this situation, I was uncomfortable (and in all honesty, a bit offended) because I had my own idea and expectations of how things were suppose to go and she wasn't living out what I wanted.
And that's the thing, I think it's so easy to go thru life and point out the faults and lacks in other people that bring up annoyances in us. However, to look at our own selves, to evaluate what's really going on in us and consider what's really making us respond in the way we are, is much harder. I was annoyed and offended and wanted to high tail it out of there, because my expectations weren't being meant...and my expectations were that I would be respected and treated as equals with my peers. While I'm not trying to say it's wrong to expect people to treat me as such, I think there is a deeper root problem here that makes me upset and frustrated when I don't receive that kind of response.
The things is, how I respond to others should never be based on how they have treated me. I shouldn't be looking for them to fill some void in me with their respect and care. I should already have all the respect and care I need in Christ, because of the crazy amount of love He's already poured into me. If I really take the time to realized how loved, how cared for I am by Him, then it frees me up to stop expecting other people to give it to me. If I am full of Christ, then I don't need you or anyone else to pour into me....in fact, while I can be grateful for whatever blessings and lessons others bring into my life, I can also be grateful for people just being who they are, even if they seem to be doing nothing for me (cause let's be real, at times we all think about what we are "getting" out of our relationships).
So I guess in a way I can rejoice in what happened the other day with this person, not because it felt good or because I enjoy feeling so awkward, but because this was an opportunity for me to grow....to look at myself and evaluate what's really going on in me and to allow God to speak to those parts of me that still need to be changed. I never want to stop learning or growing in Him, and they way I see it, the other day gave me the chance to do just that. For that I can't complain.