I was mad at my husband. He had come home really tired and slightly cranky. We had agreed to go to an author event at the Barnes & Noble where I’d be having my author event. Mike was selfless enough to go with me as soon as he arrived home. But that’s not what I was mad about. I was mad because we had words on our drive home, which turned into a fight. It was stupid. Really stupid.
Let me break this down for you: We were fighting after we visited the Barnes & Noble I’d be having an author event at, to talk about my book about marriage. Is anyone else seeing the irony in this?
I should have just recognized that he was tired and restless and needed an understanding wife. But I didn’t do that. I allowed myself to be offended.
And now, there we were, in our living room about to watch a movie…but I was brewing. Before we started the movie, I announced I wanted to change first. As I walked stamped away I was wearing the “Buddy, don’t mess with me attitude.”
As I stepped into our bedroom, I stopped.
Standing in the middle of our bedroom I quieted the self-monster soaring within. The one that says, “You need to get even!” “Payback time, Charlie!”
Just stop. Think for a minute. Slow down. Calm the selfish thoughts which are running amok. He worked all day and then drove you to Barnes & Noble. He hasn’t eaten dinner or relaxed from his day. And you are the one who’s mad? Get a grip and join the party, Sally! First you need to thank him for going with you, and then, you need to apologize. Gulp.
I can be so selfish. I have come to realize that I am innately self-centered. It’s very easy to think about how I’ve been hurt and how something affected me and how my feelings were not taken into account, but it is not quite as easy to recognize how I’ve offended others.
Can you relate?
When I walked back into our living room my attitude was waving the peace flag.
After thanking him for his kind act, I apologized for the mean words that had spewed out of my mouth earlier.
Taking a moment to think and reflect on my poor attitude hushed my anger and calmed the selfish beast within.
Have you heard “Do the right thing and your feelings will follow”? On this particular occasion, it was exactly what happened. And so, as I made the decision to act differently, my anger went away. If you love someone you will act like you love them. Love is touted as one of our strongest feelings. Feelings are internal and can be inherently selfish. Feelings often lead us in the wrong direction. But if you act like you love someone you can override your selfish feelings.
Love is an action word.
Next time you are angry with someone you love, act your way out of it, and do what you would do if you felt appreciation and love for that person. Show love with your actions because love requires action.
According to Siri (yes my iPhone!), the definition of love –
Love (noun): an intense feeling of deep affection.
According to moi, the definition of love –
Love (verb): Commitment in action.
According to the Bible –
Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
-1 Cor. 13:4-7
Now go back and read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 again, only this time insert your name and allow it to flow through your heart and mind.
Love is commitment in action.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your personal interests, but also for the interests of others.