A week ago I was on a run and my mind began to run too. I came home and got a note book and my Bible and sat on our Lanai (a screened pool room common in Florida) and began to study. I drew a circle with a little stick figure inside it. Then I began to look at Bible verses that described my responsibilities before God. I read I was to glorify God in all I do. I read I am to love my enemies, my neighbors and my wife. I read as much as it is possible I am to live at peace with all people. I read I am to be filled with love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, self-control, etc. I read I am supposed to pray for those who would despitefully use me. I’m too maintain my integrity through times of suffering. I read how Jesus was mocked and beaten yet didn’t retaliate, rather he committed his attackers to the righteous judge, leaving judgment to the Father. Then I read I will one day answer to God for how I did.
Then I drew some arrows outside the circle pointing towards it. They represented all the things outside of me I have no control over. Other people and their attitudes, circumstances of all forms and fashions that may be happening at any given time in my world. It became clear that none of those things concern me except for how I respond to them. My responsibility is only to respond to anything that happens in my world in a way tht glorifies God.
Since that day, I’ve drawn my little circle with the man inside on numerous occasions as a reminder to me of my responsibility. In many ways it is very freeing and in many ways it is a huge responsibility to keep myself surrendered to the Lord and full of His spirit. I understand more fully "get the beam out of your own eye before attempting to extract the splinter from someone else’s eye."