My Least Favorite Virtue

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This week I have been struggling with crankiness. Crankiness is unique because there can be many sources that vary by degree and it leaves you super vulnerable to my least favorite emotion: anger. Anger is bad. It comes from pride and a desire to have your way. There is such thing as righteous anger but that’s not what I’m dealing with in this instance and I think you all can tell that by the backstory that’s unfolded so far. No the type of anger I’m talking about is the one where you take out your crankiness and frustrations on others, sometimes innocent bystanders but more often on the people you spend the most time with, aka the people you love.

And I hate that. I feel so bad when I do that. And the anger just feeds because it is easier to get mad at myself than it is to accept mercy for my human weakness.

And it all goes back to my least favorite virtue, awarded that title solely because it’s the one I struggle with the most: patience.

Because patience simply means giving God time to do his work in you and in your life, which sometimes involves suffering as you learn to love yourself like God loves you, patiently.

Because doesn’t that blow your mind a little bit, how God loves you perfectly every moment? How He never waivers whether you are sinning or shining, struggling or doing your victory dance? How He just wills to be there for it all because in His love He could never abandon you? That He is so patient he never gives up on you, even when you are the absolute worst version of yourself?

It makes me sad when people don’t believe that, when they choose not to receive this love that is so freely offered. Because I think in this day and age, or maybe perhaps always on earth, we all have this insecurity or fear about our own capacity for sin. We try and focus on the positive side of man but have trouble grappling with its  other half, the destructive and evil capacity of man. In short, the sin of man. It’s like we try to tell everyone to be healthy and happy on the outside and ignore the internal immortal soul. We’re told not to keep an eye on our desires to make sure they are holy but instead that they must be holy because they came from us and we are awesome.

And I’m here to say that there is nothing awesome about us, in the true sense of the word meaning awe inspiring. But we do have tremendous worth because we are so loved, and this love redeems us from the evil and destructive nature of sin that exists in all of us. In fact that’s weirdly what binds us together, our struggle to love and a sharing of the love we receive. And I get tired of the superficiality of this day and age. Where we pretend we are perfect and shift our focus from the things that are eternal to the things that last ten seconds (culture). Where we are taught to believe in ourselves and find ourselves and that God is a myth. But I tell you what, if all I’ve found by the end of my life’s journey is myself I will despair. Because it’s love I’ve been after, and I’m not capable of the type of love I seek by myself. I know it.

And these are the types of things that tempt me to be really cranky. (And I work in people oriented fields so its not ideal when on the inside I feel like a big ball of crankiness.) But I’m praying for the grace of my least favorite virtue for myself, for my neighbors, and for the world at large. And I hope you’ll pray for that too.

And if you’re not the type that prays well… there’s a first time for everything. Why not make today your day?

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