a terrible grief

God continually introduces us to people for whom we have no affinity, and unless we are worshipping God, the most natural thing to do is to treat them heartlessly, to give them a text like the jab of a spear, or leave them with a rapped-out counsel of God and go. a heartless christian must be a terrible grief to Our Lord.
– from “my utmost for His highest” by oswald chambers

i feel incredibly blessed to have the privilege to whinebitchmoan about things in the context of living in an affluent society.

i mean, who are the people in my life for whom i have “no affinity“? they’re just regular people who happen to have a flaw or two that i would not tolerate in normal circumstances. they’re not all bad…just bordering on irritating. they’re definitely people that, with God’s grace, i can grow to love and have greater compassion for.

however, i still live up to my personality profile of being a threatening, bossy, heartless person who does nothing but give harsh advice (instead of listening) and then just leave if the person requires more coaxing, more attention, more empathy. no patience, no love.

i just want results and when that doesn’t happen, i get frustrated and abandon ship.

when i read the paragraph above during devotion one day, the words that gripped me most were “a terrible grief to Our Lord“. that hurt. the last thing i want to do is grieve God and yet that is precisely what i am doing every time i treat someone with impatience or am too blunt and cold with my words.

a terrible grief. that really, really hurt.


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