In a red-hot rage, George grabbed an African spear that he kept in his car and flung it towards the window of the minibus. The spear did not hit anybody, but shame filled his heart while he continued his drive home. When he arrived and turned off the engine, his wife said, “I will never sit in this car with you again until you repent!”
George (name changed), a missionary church planter, was in the middle of building a effective church in the Kenyan town. What had happened to him? What caused him to vent his anger on a bus?
Kenyan busses, in George’s opinion, were crazy and often came so close to causing major accidents. Making his blood boil would be an understatement. As the years wore on, his resentment toward the drivers mounted.
On this day, the minibus dangerously overtook him, endangering him and his family. He grabbed the spear thinking he would teach the driver a lesson.
George later shared this experience with us at a missionary meeting. He humbly said, “You know, you take your attitudes with you.”
True. If you are bitter toward people and you don’t deal with the bitterness, that bitterness will follow you, even if you move to the other side of the world.
He said, “I have seen missionaries that got bitter towards the African people and always criticized them. When they got back to America, they began criticizing their own people. They were always unhappy.” He went on to say, “I had to repent and get right with God that day.”
Yes, he admitted, that he still got upset with the minibus drivers, but the change in his attitude allowed him to love them.
“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” –Colossians 3:8 (NIV)
What aggravates you? Have you tried to leave problems behind you by moving or changing your environment? Attitudes move with you until you deal with them in the presence of God!
Repent, forgive, and let go.