Too Busy to Be Nice
By: Kacie Starr Long
I took a few deep breaths and counted to ten. I was scheduled for a phone call that I knew would take a lot of patience and I was feeling at my wit's end. As I thought about my long to-do list, and all of the responsibilities I had to complete for the month, I was overwhelmed.
My mental overload was unknown to the caller. She was a very sweet lady that would need me to be patient, compassionate, and understanding as we discussed several important matters over the phone.
"God, I'm too busy to be nice," I whined.
I didn't want to spend 30 minutes on a phone call that would require me to be gracious, patient, and understanding. Instead, I wanted to rush through the call. Bark out suggestions and get back to my to-do list.
Have you ever felt too busy to be nice?
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed or mentally overloaded that it seemed like you didn't have the emotional capacity to sit through another conference call, meeting, or listen to a friend's problems?
Over the years, my husband has shared insights from his time as a corporate trainer. In his career, he would visit various job sites and train managers who were responsible for teams of employees. During these training sessions, my husband would have the team members complete a personality assessment based on different birds.
One personality type is the Dove, who is often peace-loving, patient and compassionate. Another personality type is the Owl, who is a processor. The Owl asks a lot of questions and sees various solutions from different angles. Then there is the Eagle personality type. Who is often direct, focused, and no-nonsense. The Eagle can be a great leader, however, if he/she is not careful, they can come across as harsh, uncompassionate, and cold.
Feeling very 'Eagle-y' recently in my responses and relationships with others, my husband reminded me of the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible Luke 10:25-27 .
In the parable, there was a man attacked by robbers and left for dead. Scripture tells us that a Priest and Levite were traveling down the road and saw the man, yet they kept going. Perhaps the Priest and Levite were busy, maybe they had a long to-do list to complete at the church, that they couldn't stop to help a man nearly dead on the side of the road. It was the Good Samaritan who dressed the man's wounds, took the wounded man to the inn to be cared for, and was willing to pay for any extra expenses the man's care would entail.
If I am not careful, I am easily the Priest and Levite.
So busy doing things - albeit good things -- but too busy and emotionally unable to slow down and minister to the people who are right in front of me, that may need my attention and time.
God has reminded me that I need to slow down and not fill my day-to-day schedule to the brim. There must be margins in my schedule, where I am able to listen to people, pray with them and not just rush through conversations, and bark out orders or suggestions.
Are there people in your life that need you to serve? Are their children in your household, co-workers at your job site, or employees at your business that need you to minister to their emotional and physical wounds? My prayer is that God's gracious hand will help us slow down....hear from Him, and never be too busy for Jesus to operate through us.
This article was published in Jewel Warrior, a Christian women's online devotional. Please subscribe to receive encouraging devotionals each day from women from around the world.
Hi, my name is Kacie Starr Long. I am an author, and speaker and I love to use my voice to point people to Jesus. When I'm not writing, I'm either working out at Orange Theory Fitness or sewing. God delivered me from food addiction and I have a sewing ministry, called the Sew Hope Community Sewing Room. I am the proud wife of Alfred T. Long, Sr and together we lead a non-profit that serves prisoners and their families. Connect with me at www.InspiredOverflow.com and via my YouTube page for Christian teachings and encouragement.