Do you remember the movie or play The Wizard of Oz? Near the end (not to spoil it for you, but…) the audience realizes the Great and Powerful Oz is really just a mortal man who has hidden behind a curtain. The curtain covered the truth behind it.
I wonder in our lives if there aren’t times when there are things that are going on behind the curtain that aren’t evident to others. We respond to life by trying to cover our struggles, failures, frustrations and trials and still seem “normal.”
This morning was one of those times. My friend called asking about something she needed me to do as soon as possible. I did not respond very well because I knew I was supposed to have another week or two to get the project complete. All of a sudden it was due right immediately! I complained to my friend and vented my frustration. My whole attitude stunk! After hanging up the phone, I had to text back and apologize. I sat down and pondered why I was so angry.
Behind my curtain today was the fact that last night I got an email before bed asking for an outline that is due in a week. The person was reminding me. So I went to bed thinking about that. Then I dreamed about one frustration after another. I woke up from my restless night upset at myself for not being able to rest. Then when my friend called…. all of my angst was not about what she was talking about. All of my junk behind the scene added to the sudden frustration of a new deadline.
I wonder how many people I run into are frustrated about things that have nothing to do with me. They voice their frustrations at me (and others), but the problem is behind their curtain. I have a choice to make. I can either get angry and have my feelings hurt, or I can ask myself a very important question. “WHAT IS BEHIND THEIR CURTAIN?” When I am able to see their overreaction for what it is, I am able to not take it personally and allow love and grace to cover their actions. I am also able to forgive.
It’s not her behavior – it’s what’s behind the curtain of my heart
I also have to be honest and realize that I have had times that my overreaction has caused polarization in relationships. It really wasn’t about that friend’s behavior, but about all of the stuff behind my curtain. My response to this behavior needs to be to approach my friend whom I have offended with an apology. Better still I need to stop before a bitter spirit comes out of my mouth. There is a verse that I have tried to commit to memory to help me.
2 Corinthians 10:5 “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
As I deal with my stuff behind the curtain, I know I must give my heart and mind afresh to the Lord and ask Him to help me deal in a kind and loving manner with those around me. I also need to ask for wisdom to know when to give grace and love. May we all open our curtain to the Father and allow Him to help us treat others with kindness.
Today’s post is part of MMCW’s mentoring series, Choices. Following are some questions / action steps to ask yourself or discuss with your mentor / mentoree how over reacting and not dealing with “the stuff behind my curtain” can harm relationships.
- Spiritual maturity can occur when we humbly recognize “the stuff behind the curtain” as Page did, and take responsibility by apologizing to the person we’ve wronged. Do you apologize to others or avoid it? Discuss the power of forgiveness for all parties involved and the destructive nature of pride when we do not apologize.
- Discuss the power of saturating our mind and heart with the Word of God and how it overflows into our relationships.
- Write out 2 Corinthians 10:5 on an index card and memorize this week. Meditate daily on “taking every thought captive to obey Christ.”