Serving others usually means you are at your workplace (rather that be at home or office) before everyone else and you are the last to leave. Some of you are shaking your head like AMEN! YES, I AM!! But remember, it’s all about your perspective…God must really trust you to put you in that place 🙂 But in all seriousness, you have a great advantage and responsibility to being there first. You are the thermostat…you can help set the temperature of your environment. As you prepare for the day, create an environment conducive for a peace, productivity and passion. Pray for those that will occupy your environment and pray for God to prepare you for what your day may hold. My husband is a stickler for leaving the thermostat set on a reasonable temperature. He says if you are constantly adjusting the thermostat, the unit will eventually burn out trying to keep up with the changing temperature. In the same way, if we are constantly changing to accommodate our environment, we will burn out. We have to be steady in spirit and be strong in heart so that we can change our environment and our environment doesn’t change us.
Psalm 51:10, Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
You may not always know what those entering your environment have just come from or been through. It could have been a terrible meeting or phone call, a dispute with a spouse, child or other employee, criticism, self-doubt or a number of other draining events or emotions. BUT, you have a choice…you can increase the heat or be a cool shower on a blazing fire. Be sure you are always carrying a water hose instead of a can of gasoline. It’s easy to add fuel to a fire and watch it burn but it takes strength to stand in silence and soothe the burn with words of grace and encouragement, like pouring a small cup after small cup of water on a raging fire. Eventually, the fire goes out and progress can be made.
This is one of the most difficult things I had to learn. I used to think I had to have an opinion, and share it, in every situation. But, the reality is we are just called to be obedient to God and His Word and it tells us in Hebrews 12:14, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy…” Every effort means to hold your tongue, save your opinions, offer encouraging words and just cool the temperature of the environment. The result…the temperature drops, the mood lightens and you aren’t carrying guilt or condemnation from saying or doing something you’ll later regret.
Remember when you enter into your environment, you’re setting the temperature today. Are you prepared to work in the heat of the fire or the cool of the day? It can largely depend on your attitude and the choice you make when you are there before the others arrive. If God can change your heart or attitude, He can change those around you. Trust and rely on Him. If you’ll make every effort, like His word tells us, He will do what you cannot. Have a great day as you relish in the cool breeze….