Don't let discontent lead to contempt.
I'll admit, it stung a little that my preacher didn't take my side. He didn't pat me on the back and say, "You're right! Your husband sounds like a jerk. Let me talk to him." He told me not to let discontentment about a situation lead to contempt of a person. I tend to do that. I blame circumstances on people(Sean, mostly). Not always, but sometimes.
As my car battery had died in the church parking lot and none of us had jumper cables, I had a few minutes to marinate on his words. God did some serious work on me in those few minutes.
I came to the realization that Sean is not responsible for my happiness. Circumstances should not dictate my happiness. Happiness should not be my main goal in life. I need to have joy. Joy that does not ebb and flow with getting my way. I am a selfish person, as we all are. I can typically predict my mood based on how others around me are responding to me. How many times can I type the word, "ME?"
Having stayed up late into the night text arguing with my beloved the night before, I realized my issue was not entirely with him. It was mostly aimed at the circumstances. The circumstances being him far away for several weeks. I actually had a really good week, save one text rant about his children that left him hesitant to call. I told him that my text rants are simply to unload. I don't need a reply or advice, I just have to tell somebody at the exact moment how insane they are making me. I know that he doesn't even receive the texts until I am well beyond the aggravation of the moment. I do tend to feel foolish after the fact, but sometimes I just need a listening ear.
Sunday, as I waited on jumper cables, I texted him a lengthy apology. I told him I don't see myself as an angry person and I don't want him or our children to see me as such. I want my joy to be inherent. Inherent joy not based on circumstance. And then I had to google inherent real quick to make sure I was using it correctly.
Yes! A characteristic attribute. Permanent. Absolutely! My preacher said that even John had joy when he was exiled to the isle of Patmos. I was thoroughly convicted. <Insert bug eyed emoticon.>
I was looking up the difference between joy and happiness and found this great post.
"So the Bible teaches that happiness is fleeting because it often depends on things outside of ourselves, but true joy is eternal because it is based on our relationship with Jesus Christ, which is itself an everlasting source of joy."
While it's only Tuesday, I can say that my actions have surely been reflecting my heart change this week. I've learned this lesson before, and I'll probably have to learn it again, but I'm thankful for these little tests of faith.
I'm thankful that my brother is my preacher and my preacher is my brother. I'm thankful that he cares enough about me to say things like, "I'm going to stop being your brother for a minute and be your pastor." He's a good egg, that one, and I'm
lucky blessed to be his little sister.