In Season 5 of The Office, the episode "Frame Toby" exemplifies something God has been teaching me recently. In this episode, Pam finds the microwave ridiculously messy after the previous user didn't clean it up. She decided to write an anonymous note to express her disappointment at the lack of respect for others by leaving it dirty. The ironic thing is that the majority of the co-workers agreed that the note about the mess was actually more offensive than the original mess itself.
I totally did this once with my roommates a few years ago when I was a bachelor. I was so pissed off that they didn't clean the dishes in the kitchen up to my standards, so I left a note for them instructing them the "correct" way to clean up. Oh man. They weren't happy.
After that experience and watching the same thing backfire for Pam, I have come to realize that I cannot expect others to do things the way I want them to. I cannot control the actions of others. Now, if I want something done a certain way, I had better be willing to do it myself.
However, that isn't the end of it. So often I have ended up cleaning someone else's mess out of anger and annoyance. I just wished in that moment that whoever made the mess was right there with me so I could give them a piece of my mind. But that's okay, since I'm cleaning up after someone else, I must still be doing a good thing, right? (Wrong.)
This past Sunday, Heather Thomas discussed 1 Corinthians 13 and how actions are meaningless without love. Jesus came to be a servant to us messy rebels, but He wasn't spiteful. He was loving. Even though so many people left him a ridiculously dirty microwave, Jesus was still patient and kind. He didn't envy or brag that He was cleaner than others. Jesus wasn't ever rude to them. He didn't get angry easily, but instead looked after the needs of others before Himself by cleaning up the mess without complaining. And He didn't ever keep track of how many times someone made the mess.
Too bad I can't say those things about myself. How often I do "good" things without a loving heart. Sadly, when I do that, my actions are worthless. Thankfully, Jesus is working in my life to change my heart to be more like His.
Riedlblog label: TV
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