Note: The song of the above video should be listened to while reading this post. It really sets the tone, and it will be stuck in your head for the remainder of the day. You're welcome. Also, I am not responsible for any flashbacks to season 5 of American Idol that you may experience while listening to this song. Some things are better left in the past, I know. Ace Young is one of them.
Tuesday was a really crappy day. Everything, it seemed, was stacked against me and conspiring to drive me crazy. I won't get into the details. They're really not all that important. What is important is what I learned about myself in the process. In the event that it's helpful, here you go. File these away for your next bad day.
1) My "niceness" is frail. I tend to be a pretty laid-back, easygoing person. I am often complemented for being "nice." However, it took a surprisingly short time on Tuesday for me to turn into a total jerk. I carried an attitude for most of the evening that necessitated several apologies to my wife on Wednesday morning. Looking at how little had to go wrong to make me feel like I had license to act however I wanted with no regard for others was a humbling window to just how much selfishness I have in me.
2) My focus is often misplaced. The scary part is that this can happen without me noticing it. Never in a million years would I have told you that I was too attached to my barbecue grill, but - as I noted yesterday - when it wasn't working right, I became incredibly stressed and upset. It was a strong reminder to just how easily I fall into the trap of buying into what this world deems important - namely, stuff.
3) Grace is enough. Though we say we're dependant on grace, I think far too often we, perhaps even subconsciously, tend to think that our goodness has something to do with our standing before God. When we're doing well spiritually, he accepts us, and when we're doing poorly spiritually, he pushes us away. This is a lie. The reason that we have a right standing before God is because he chooses to look past our sins and look upon the free gift of righteousness we have because of Jesus. Our acceptance is not merit based, or we'd all be screwed. I realized this as I apologized to Heather on Wednesday, and her forgiveness was quick and complete. I didn't deserve it, but there it was, a little microcosm of the forgiveness that the Father has bestowed on us by grace through faith in Christ.
In the sports world, they say that sometimes you learn more in defeat than you do in victory. God used my bad day to teach me some powerful lessons about grace and sanctification in my life. Even my sin served to give him glory. Shall I go on sinning that grace may abound? Of course not! But I hope and pray that the next time the camera don't lie and you're ready to sing a sad song just to turn it around, you'll realize that though we all are great sinners, Christ is a greater savior.