I don’t necessarily like phrases like, “You only have a bad day if you let it.” A couple of weeks ago, my transmission went out on the way home. That was a bad day, and there was very little that I could do about it. There are many other much worse bad days. Someone could lose a loved one unexpectedly. I think of all of the people in third world nations, those caught up in war in Syria who didn’t ask for it, people who are victims of terrorism: those bad days are real…and they are much, much more than my transmission going out.
A broadening view of the world can lead to perspective, but it doesn’t invalidate bad days. They happen. I want to learn to be the type of person that will walk with people through their bad days even in my bad days.
I have Colossians 4:6 on a post it note right next to my phone. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” In my bad days, this verse brings conviction straight to my heart. Is my speech gracious and seasoned with salt? Is it building or destroying?
Brennan Manning wrote in “Abba’s Child,” that there are no neutral interactions in life. “In every encounter we either give life or drain it.” I don’t want to be someone who neglects that bad days exist. I don’t think that’s very healthy or realistic. However, I want to be a person who gives life and doesn’t drain it. This is incredibly challenging for me when something seems to go terribly wrong, and yet Paul wrote his letter to the church in Colosae while he was in prison.
What it comes down to is what do I want to spend my own energy doing? Do I want to spend it grumpy and sulking, or do I want to seek joy in the hard times? So many times, I’ve chosen the selfish way of grumpy and sulking even though it doesn’t make sense. No one likes being grumpy or sulky. However, it can be the natural human tendency especially when we feel like we’ve been wronged. Paul didn’t write, “Let your speech be gracious in good things…” he wrote, “Let your speech ALWAYS be gracious…”
Do you struggle with this as well? Here are some things to keep in mind…
1) We’re all growing. Don’t condemn yourself to the point of despair. Lets grow together. You can’t love others well if you don’t have a good picture of yourself. If you are a Christ follower, you have been redeemed. Take rest in that in your short comings and move forward.
2) Bad days are real. Don’t deceive yourself about bad days. They exist and are part of reality. We WILL have them. The important part is where we take them…
3) Take your bad days to the cross. In our suffering, we are being made more like Christ. Don’t compare your suffering with someone else’s suffering, but take it straight to the suffering done on the cross. Jesus died to pay a price that we might see freedom. He broke the chains that we inherited through Adam.