Lord, don’t let me be obnoxious.

I’ve met a lot of obnoxious people.  Come on, I know you have too.  No, it isn’t nice to label someone that way, but, admit it, there are folks who make you want to turn and go the other direction. Something about their attitude, behavior, speech, or the way they present themselves is just unbearable. I don’t want to be that kind of person.

That’s not the same thing as my saying something that another person might find offensive. I don’t have control over whether someone else gets offended any more than I have control over any other reaction or emotion someone else has. You’ve heard, “you can’t make someone else angry.” Their emotional responses are their own responsibility.

We certainly should be sensitive to other people’s situations and choose our words carefully. A mature person ought to know when to keep their mouth shut. But we can’t always predict how another will react. Speaking the truth is necessary, but it must be done with love.  Easier said than done.

Paul said in Colossians chapter 4: Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

That’s about attitude and the manner in which we present ourselves as much as about our actual words.

It’s part of our personality.  It’s about yielding ourselves daily to the Lord, to let Him transform us and conform us to the image of His Son, so that we will be effective ambassadors of His Kingdom.

On many days I have started my morning praying, “Lord, please don’t let me be obnoxious today.”

Shalom, Dottie

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