Have you ever run across someone who gets under your skin? In other words, whether it is their tone, comments, or behavior, something about them is irritating, and that irascibility is continuous and annoying. I met such a person playing pickleball. In this case, an older man seems to feel that he needs to tutor everyone else on the court even though his skills are inferior. He makes snarky comments, and I don’t like it. It gets to the point where when he signs up to play, others stay away because they don’t enjoy playing with him. Unfortunately, he does not seem to take hints or suggestions. He is fixed in his mannerisms and perhaps does not care what others think. So, I have to admit I was not thrilled when I read Romans 15:1,2 this morning.
Mary was in the process of leaving physical therapy in her car in a parking lot. She looked to her right and saw nothing but didn’t look to her left. As she began to pull out the oncoming driver laid on the horn letting Mary know her displeasure. Mary quickly realized her mistake and put up her arms to acknowledge her error and rolling down her window told the other driver, “I’m sorry.”
Later as Mary was pulling into a fast-food restaurant she noticed the woman she had almost cut off was in line in front of her. When it came time for Mary to drive up to the window and pay for her food the attendant said the woman in front had paid for her meal!
A close friend of mine, Sam Titus, sent me a book to read. It was entitled Insightand it was written by Dr. Tasha Eurich. Tasha did a wonderful job exploring the topic of self-awareness and illustrating why it is so important. Tasha defines self-awareness as “the ability to see ourselves clearly—to understand who we are, how others see us, and how we fit into the world around us.” I was pleased to see that she recognized in her research with people that “humility is a key ingredient of self-awareness.” She also noted as an organizational psychologist that self-aware people enjoy more successful careers and better lives because they have developed “an intuitive understanding of what matters to them, what they want to accomplish, how they behave, and how others see them.”
General Vladimir Sukhomlinov was the Russian Minister of War from 1909-1915. He was a cavalry officer and a war hero during Russia’s war with Turkey in the 1870s. Unfortunately, Sukhomlinov decided that he knew everything that there was to know about warfare. His decorations, record and position bolstered his self-importance despite the fact that Russia lost territory and huge numbers of dead and wounded to the Japanese from 1904-1905.
Job 6:24—Teach me, and I will be silent. Help me understand what I did wrong.
As the manager of a midsize division, Lu was responsible for millions of dollars of merchandise and about a hundred employees. The CEO was impressed by her tenacity and creative mind in fixing problems. The board saw her as a rising star so almost everyone was shocked when she resigned. She gave her new boss Calvin virtually no advance notice of her intentions and left at a time of major restructuring. Lu had accepted the offer of a smaller division within the same company but located in another state. She felt the job, though less prestigious, was a better fit for her skill set and it was much closer to her family.
Across the parade field spanning more than the length of a football field, flags of every unit fluttered in the breeze. Though the July temperature was chilly, the sun broke through as if to announce this was a joyous occasion. Soldiers moved in unison to snappish bugle commands. The crisp roar of measured cannon fire honored the presence of I-Corps' three-star commander. When the band played it was not hard to sit up straighter and admire the formations of men and women sworn to defend their nation's Constitution.