I got squeezed, and it wasn’t pretty. My feelings were hut and my feathers were ruffled; I was offended and angry. Hateful words of retaliation and blame oozed from my lips. Resentment seeped from every pore, and bitterness slimed the rest of my day. Ugh.
When life gives me a good, hard squeeze, all the ugliness inside me gushes to the surface.
- When I’m squeezed by stress, I ooze complaints.
- When I’m squeezed by anger, I ooze sarcasm.
- When I’m squeezed by sickness, I ooze fear.
- When I’m squeezed by discontent, I ooze greed.
- When I’m squeezed by flattery, I ooze pride.
- When I’m squeezed by weariness, I ooze impatience.
- When I’m squeezed by insults, I ooze vengeance.
I don’t want to be a slimeball! People should not have to wear a hazmat suit to protect themselves from my outbursts.
“It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?” Romans 7:21-24 MSG
I got squeezed again today, but something was different this time. I had spent time in prayer in the morning, specifically asking the Lord to help me get it right the next time I was squeezed. I asked Him to help my actions and reactions reflect His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18), I asked Him to renew my mind (Romans 12:2) and make me more like Christ (Ephesians 4:14). I kinda sorta knew there would be a squeeze coming, although I didn’t know from where. And then I kinda sorta forgot about my prayer and went about my busy day.
Despite the Squeeze Warning the Holy Spirit had issued, I was still surprised when it happened. I still reeled when a dearly loved friend belittled me in public. I was still angry, embarrassed and indignant… but this time I poured my heart out to God instead of venting to a friend. A few choice words still popped into my head… but this time they did not escape my lips. I made the decision not to be angry, and to keep no record of being wronged by my friend (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). I thought of all the good things about my friend, and chose to believe the best of them instead of the worst.
“The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.” Romans 7:25 MSG
I’m trying. Praying. Seeking. Submitting my old slimy self, seeking my new Spirit-filled self. But there’s a good chance I won’t pass the squeeze test next time, so don’t throw away your slime shield just yet.
This post was originally published at Not Quite Amish Living, a blog for women who want more peace in our lives, our homes, our families and our hearts.