Setting the tone
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:5-7 ESV
I’ve been reflecting on how people react to what others say, and so often it is not the content. Sometimes we have stored up what we are going to say, letting words churn around in our minds because we have been hurt by the other person. At other times when we are in pain or when life is against us, we too can lash out, born out of our frustrations.
What we say and how we act or react sets the tone. I have had days when for no apparent reason I have woken feeling miserable or despondent and it is very hard not to let this affect every situation at home or work. Sometimes I’ve drifted in this malaise allowing myself to wallow in self pity and needed to metaphorically kick myself up the backside to come out of it. It is at times like these that I find it hard to count my blessings, and this is the very thing that I should do.
My wife and I work in a centre supporting vulnerable adults, people on the fringes of society, it is a job that is often thankless, unrelenting and incredibly pressured. How we start the day or interact with others sets the tone. We often hear things that are untrue or uncalled for, we get hurt by the people that we are attempting to support. We get frustrated that people return to the same mistakes over and over again. It is hard to stay focussed and level, to keep giving out day after day, when the people are so demanding.
It is nearly 5 years since I started and looking back I can see that there has been many changes for the better and this is affirmed by our trustees, volunteers and supporters. Affecting change is hard work, time consuming and counter cultural, but as I think about my Saviour and what He did for me, my spirit begins to lift.
I choose to be counter cultural to this society and I choose to walk the path He has called me to follow, I choose to love when it hurts and I choose to set the tone.
Each day I choose to set the tone.