“I don’t care what anyone thinks about me!”
“I just need to be myself!”
Quick quips that came spilling out of my unhappy heart. We had been in Hong Kong for a year or two; the excitement had worn off, and most of my ministry was towards the two little ones clinging to my legs. It seemed that everything I was doing was for my children or for my husband. Time and Energy spent on the family mixed together with feelings of not measuring up made for a deadly cocktail that I regularly sipped on.
I would think to myself,
“I can get more accomplished for God back home in America than I can here in Asia.“
Instead of trusting God with my circumstances I began feeding on negative thoughts. What spilled out was sarcasm.
The sarcasm went on for a couple of years, delighting in the shock or laughter that it brought to the listeners. Then one morning the Lord revealed to me,
“I was sabotaging my ministry.”
My attitude was an attempt to escape my circumstances. During the first couple of years living overseas, I would have been perfectly happy if my husband walked into the apartment to announce that we would be packing up and heading back to the homeland. My private discontentment had soured and was spilling out on others.
“But the things that come out of a person’s month, come from the heart, and these defile them” Matthew 15:18 NIV
The negative comments that came out of my mouth revealed something more serious within my heart. Reflecting back on this time a few things fed my unhappiness,
- Lack of personal prayer life. The stage of life, when I was the first one up in the morning flipping pancakes and packing lunches instead of praying on my knees.
- Lies of the Enemy. The lie went like this,
“I am not qualified for the ministry, I snuck into the ministry while God wasn’t looking, and my job is to support my husband and watch God use his life.” (see the blog “Meeting Ministry”)
- Task-Oriented. I have a tendency to be task-oriented. I like lists and if the items on the list have nice little boxes for me to check off during the day, all the better. My lists kept me from setting aside time to be alone with God.
Over the years the Holy Spirit has been faithful not to give up on me. He has given me a deep love for the people of our calling. That love changed my heart from sour to sweet. From dissatisfaction to an appreciation of the calling that God has given us.
“And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NIV
When our Lord makes his appeal through us to reconcile others to Christ, I am quite certain it’s not through sarcasm. When we think about the fruit of the Spirit, sarcasm can’t be squeezed into any of them.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
If you struggle with sarcasm as I did, would you quiet yourself before our wonderful counselor and allow Him the time to expose any hidden motives or hurts that may be the cause of your quick quips.
edited by Lydia King