Two weeks ago when the temperatures were in the triple digits, I inventoried my day and took note of reality: People are moody today. I saw it in myself and I saw it around me. I could feel it -- peoples’ body language, the intensity on their faces, the extreme aggressiveness on the road. You could literally feel it in the air.
It’s a moody planet, isn’t it? On any given day, work or play, even on Sundays — our moods, and others’ moods can fluctuate. And it can change suddenly. Part of being human is being emotionally stable, and at times, emotionally fragile. All of it with very little warning most of the time. Moodiness just happens.
The good news is that while we certainly have permission to be human, we don’t have to be held hostage by our moods, or the moods of others. Christ, who delivers us from a multitude of things, can also give us freedom within our moods, and even levels of freedom dealing with the moods of others. It’s not easy, but we do have a choice in the matter.
In chapter 3 of Colossians, I’ve found helpful reminders of the freedom I possess when the moods flare — whether it be your children, your supervisor, or the one looking back at you in the mirror! Let’s consider this timeless wisdom:
“Therefore as God’s people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (12-14)
Isn’t this a great reminder? In the manner that we also literally clothe ourselves each day, we should also “clothe ourselves with compassion and kindness…bearing...forgiving…loving each other.” In short, it’s simply being reminded how to best work with people (even moody people) and what character qualities will invite the presence of Christ right into the middle of it. Easier said than done? Yes. Worth the effort? You bet.
I won’t ever master this list of character qualities, but it’s good to know I have the choice this week to keep my own moods in check, and hopefully – by the grace of God – extending graciousness toward the moodiness of others. After all, it’s often graciousness we want from others if our moods get out-of-hand.
May God’s grace assist us this week in our relationships with people, emotionally stable or unstable.