My daughter got an expander put in to start the work on fixing her narrow jaw and crowded teeth. I was just now reading the instructions about it. Every night we have to turn it a bit to expand it. The info said, “a gap may appear between your front teeth; don’t worry! This just means it’s working!”
I did a tough workout yesterday that focused on abs. Today I am in pain. Pain as in, boy, I hope I don’t have to laugh, sneeze or cough today…or ever. From past experience with working out (in the days of yore!), I know this is a step to strengthening those muscles. And I know not to worry, “this just means it’s working!”
Wouldn’t it be nice if character or self-improvement on how I handle anger or conflict or anxiety or….any of those emotions or reactions that trip me (or you?) up would work this same way?? You could do these five exercises to improve your anger muscle! You may feel pain tomorrow morning, “this just means it’s working!” It’s so hard to measure character growth in a way. We can’t say oh, I took 3 inches off my worry!
I can be a Type A perfectionist and list out all the ways I have failed very easily. And, in fact, it came to that on Tuesday. I texted my husband and said, you need to go to dinner with me. At dinner – bless his heart – I laid out all the things that I was upset and mad at myself about and it was a little mess. (I apologized afterward. Poor guy should not have married a “vocal processor.”)
But being able to express that meant that I was then able to calm down and look at the reality.
The reality is, lately I have done the best I could. I have taken time to ask for counsel from a good friend, I have taken time to pray about it, I have taken time to read the Bible.
Even though I can’t take out the tape measure and measure the growth of my character, what I can do is ask the only question I need to at the end of the day: Did I show the love of Christ? Did I do the best I could? Did I do what He wanted me to do in that situation?
If I can say yes to those questions, then that’s all that’s needed. My heart feels a little tired out. But I’m trying not to worry about it, that just means it’s working.
I Samuel 12:24: Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.