Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I'm pausing at DFW for a bit, reflecting on what you often see at ticket counters: angry people. SOMEONE has done SOMETHING to make them mad!! Guess what? Someone doesn't make you mad. You decide to be mad. You have control; the choice is yours. You can respond to unfavorable external stuff with reason and patience, or you can respond with anger. It's one of the secrets of life and especially of marriage. People imagine that if they had a different spouse, a different job, a different church THEN they'd be happy. But they carry their own habits of self-pity, blaming, and resentment with them. It's a great day when you realize that God blessed you with the gift of choice. Happiness is within your reach no matter what the circumstances. It's a lesson I've had to preach to myself often, which is ridiculous in light of how incredibly blessed my life has been.

19 Comments:

  • Thanks Mike for ruining my morning. If I can't blame others for making me mad, who can I blame! I figure if the whole world would straighten up, I'd be a much happier person.

    But really, thanks for the reminder. Peace and joy comes from within, not from without. I long to know the secret, as the Apostle Paul learned, of being content in all situations.

    By Blogger Travis, at 7/13/2004 08:04:00 AM  

  • Great reminder. Good reminder from Travis (Paul) as well, that we must learn to be content in every circumstance. I think Paul experienced this because he allowed the Spirit to lead him into uncomfortable situations. We too often avoid the situations which might stretch us and therefore never learn to bend. Then when patience is required in situations we can't avoid (like airports), we don't have the capacity for it.

    By Blogger chrismith, at 7/13/2004 08:52:00 AM  

  • How funny -- something in the wind ...
    I blogged about this last night, myself. Nothing profound, just my desire to attain the knowledge of Paul -- I want to be in on the secret (you can get thtere if you click on my name, if you're interested.)

    By Blogger Clarissa, at 7/13/2004 09:45:00 AM  

  • This reminds me of James 4:1,
    'What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?'

    Why are the 'passions' at war? And does this war ever end? I say this, because I fail again and again by relying on the power of my already weak and broken will. Why should I trust me again after failing so much?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/13/2004 10:48:00 AM  

  • Funny thing, you know how we're all supposed to be connected to the world by 7 peopele? I really think, in blog land at least, that it's through the commonality of thoughts and feelings.

    This morning has been one that I'd rather forget. I have a headache for the third day in a row b/c I'm stressed from procrastinating over a term paper, thinking about how I can help my husband deal w/ his father's illness, angry at my parents for not being more involved in my life, etc., etc.

    I was looking in the mirror and I just had to laugh! I realized that the things I have control over are the ways in which I react to the situations. In fact, I wrote a term paper on that vrey thing earlier this summer. I made myself upset, angry, stressed, and just plain whiny.


    I have a loving, supportive and busy family, a roof over my head, clean clothes, food, and most of all, God's forgiveness for me being the petty, spoiled child that I can often be when things just don't go my way. I'll pull my head out of the sand and look around and just be thankful for what I've been blessed with and where it is leading me.

    Thank you Mike!

    By Blogger Mae, at 7/13/2004 10:54:00 AM  

  • Anonymous makes a good point about trusting ourselves when we fail in the war of passions. I would say that this is one more way we need Christ. Our salvation isn't simply about the eternal, but about the here and now. Without Christ, I would be a slave to my anger, impatience, and pettiness. I CAN'T be trusted, but Christ can and it is not I that live, but Christ living in me.

    By Blogger chrismith, at 7/13/2004 11:15:00 AM  

  • Mike, I was there in DFW last week......so those people haven't left YET? :) You wonder how many of these people are Christians, and missing out on the opportunity to be light and salt where it would be noticed. Then you wonder how many are not Christians and could have their perspectives change from knowing Christ.

    Thanks for the reminder. I fly thru there again next week....maybe they will be gone by then.

    By Blogger David U, at 7/13/2004 12:29:00 PM  

  • MIke- this reminds me of the story I heard Rick Atchley tell of a ticket counter employee who had just taken , with a smile, five minutes of being cussed out by an angry business man. After the man stormed off,the observer, a preacher freind of Rick's on a lay-over, told the Lady, "I can't believe how much grace you had for that man..You were polite, did not raise your voice, didn't get defensive...how do you do it, I think I would have hit him?" She replied, "Well that man is going to Los Angeles, and I just sent his luggage to Chicago!"

    By Blogger Lovell's Lookout, at 7/13/2004 12:51:00 PM  

  • My uncle used to tell us...You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/13/2004 12:58:00 PM  

  • "Unfavorable external stuff" happens. I can see a bumper sticker in the works.

    Seven Habits of Highly Uneffective People: self-pity, blaming, resentment.... I can see a book in the works.

    Spouse, job, church...and BLOG? Ever notice that some people who comment on your blog wish that they had a different blog to comment on? I can see a blog entry in the works.

    Mike, I have decided to be happy after reading your blog.

    Quick question: What if your "for a bit" turns into like 17 hours? Won't that just MAKE you mad?

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 7/13/2004 02:30:00 PM  

  • Preach, pasta, preach! So right.

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 7/13/2004 02:48:00 PM  

  • Brandon, this character assassination is an OUTRAGE! Calling Mike, in essence, a noodle is out of line and makes me FURIOUS! Is that somehow slang for effeminate? Are you sure you're not behind those "pretty men" posts last week? I'm on to you, Zoe Man, and I am LIVID!

    By Blogger Grant, at 7/13/2004 03:12:00 PM  

  • Grant, Brandon can't MAKE you anything...You decided to be furious. You need to take control and responsibility for your emotions. For a good read on this very subject may I suggest Mike's blog? It can be found at www.mikecope.blogspot.com.

    Nice touch with "Zoeman" though...

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 7/13/2004 05:15:00 PM  

  • My profession brings me into daily contact with people whose mood of choice is rage, so I REALLY wish more people understood this simple truth. (On second thought - maybe not - it might put me out of a job! [G])

    I used to think that clients who were raging about their problems were expecting me to rage along with them - and, the truth is, some of them do. But, in the end, I hope to convince them that a cool head and some well-reasoned perspective on their situation is a lot more valuable than an all-out-war mentality, which usually ends up creating a huge (and costly) mess.

    I don't always remember this myself, but I think I am more effective when I do.

    By Blogger Matt, at 7/13/2004 05:16:00 PM  

  • Grant--
    Just because Pat is your uncle doesn't give you the right to call Mike a noodle. It also doesn't give you the right to live in a tanning bed and wear white patten leather shoes, by the way. So cut that out.

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 7/14/2004 08:23:00 AM  

  • That last comment was hitting below my big, white, excessively-wide 1970s belt. Don't make me reveal to everyone in blogdom your backstage antics the year you were a Sing Song host.

    By Blogger Grant, at 7/14/2004 08:48:00 AM  

  • Chris,

    AMEN! Great spirit.

    Great point and very honoring to Jesus. Christ should be the source of all my 'choosing'. If all I have is me and my will power...and my strength..I am done for. I need help, wisdom and strength in those times because I am weak and broken. Therefore, I need Jesus every moment. I guess you could say I get saved everyday cause I need Him every moment. Especially during the temptation to choose to sin. My power of choice is meaingless then if Jesus does not help me.

    Thanks for your comment, Chris. I get the help and Jesus gets the honor in my leaning on Him in every choice.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/14/2004 08:53:00 AM  

  • Well Mike, that may work for you. You being a preacher, people are much kinder and more forgiving to you than they are to us in the real world. So why don't preach only what you know about and quit ticking the rest of us off!

    By Blogger spot, at 7/14/2004 11:48:00 AM  

  • Oh, Grant, do tell ...

    By Blogger Clarissa, at 7/14/2004 03:27:00 PM  

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