Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Worst in Me

The words were no sooner out of my mouth when I realized how important it was that I consider them again. And again.

My neighbor and I were discussing a particularly difficult situation he had faced with someone in his life. I could only nod in understanding, for certainly there have been people or situations in my life that fall into the "difficult" category.

Then the words passed my lips and were spoken ...

"Yes, I know those feelings well. Truly there are people in our lives that bring out the worst in us."
In the next breath, the first thought was followed by this second one:

"Then again, how else might we know the worst is in us were it not for such people?"

He blinked then, as if something had gotten into his eye; and as if he wasn't quite sure how to respond.

I did likewise, which meant the two of us looked a wee bit puzzled for several seconds (that seemed more like an hour).

It struck me that there was now a provocative ponderance dangling mid-air; one to be dissected and digested.

In truth, I'm not exactly sure what it was that actually struck the blinking neighbor (flippancy? ... wisdom? ... dullness? ...)

I realized immediately that I was going to have to develop the thoughts associated with the worst in me further.

In the days since here is what I've derived thus far:

  • What a blessing is given when the worst in me surfaces.
  • When I'm aware of the worst in me, it simply means I have some; and it may well be time to deal with it.
  • Unless and until nothing brings out the worst in me, I need work.
  • No one and nothing can bring out the worst in me without my permission.
  • It's possible to see the worst in someone else without use of a critical eye.
  • I may well be the agent that brings about the worst in someone/something else.

I doubt I'm through with "deriving".

Likely you're blinking now too.


Farm Girl said...

Hi Love your blog. I just "happened by," I love what you said, "No one and nothing can bring out the worst in me without my permission." That is such a true statement and one I ponder all of the time. I also loved the post about you being a six day,
Creationist. I am too and it is nice to be in that company. I have been meditating this week, on " In the Beginning God, and In the Beginning was the Word, the Logos.
You have some great thoughts and I really love your name.

cindy said...

OH...I have something in my eye...a plank maybe?
I thnk we have all walked in your shoes. Not comfortable.

Sonja said...

first I blinked, then I laughed out loud! You are hilarious with your words, and boy do they FIT like a glove... sadly! :)

'Unless and until nothing brings out the worst in me, I need work.'...I might have been ok but for this one!! Very little wiggle room here...



Karen Lange said...

Wow, great food for thought! These prickly personalities really can work something in us. Need to think on this; will see one tonight, actually. :)

I like what you said about our reaction being our choice - as far as giving permission. I really do need work in this area. It does help to look at it this way. Great post, thanks!

Happy weekend,

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...


I totally get it. That being said... within each of us is a demon bursting to get out when in the association of demons. "Those that bring out the worst in us."

It's up to us to choose who to associate with. Are we leaders in evil or are we followers? If we're followers, we choose who we follow. I choose to follow Jesus, because, he brings out the BEST in us.

I know for myself, if given the right circumstances my worst can come out. Satan knows, he pushes the issue every chance. We fight it or we give in. I choose to fight it, I rebuke satan, in Jesus' name!

Great post!

Terri Tiffany said...

I never thought about me being the person to bring out the worst in someone else!!LOL I bet I am!

Debbie said...

Kathleen, it does remind me how easy it is to see the tiny sliver in someone else's eye while a huge plank is coming out of mine.

There are days when the worst in me comes out and sometimes it surprises me. I think to myself "I didn't know I had that in me" but I did.

How thankful I am for God's grace and patience with us.

Love you,

Saleslady371 said...

What comes to mind is "iron sharpens iron!"


Nel said...

I love it when you give me something to ponder on. I love the statement: No one and nothing can bring out the worst in me without my permission. Isn't that the truth! Praying that I am not the one to bring out the worst in other people. And yes you had me blinking at first. lol
until next time... nel

Beth E. said...

I'm blinking, Sassy, I'm blinking...winking, too!

Ah, I've exposed the worst in me on far too many occasions...I've evidently given my permission without even realizing it!

You challenge me, friend. Thanks for the gentle nudges (and the occasional swift kick, too). ;-)


Denise said...

Very thought provoking.

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

*silence* and *blinking* :)

Deborah Ann said...

Aahhh...good stuff! I've been thinking about this very subject of late. I can say that I now see the good in the bad, because the bad is in me, as well as the next guy.


About the time I think I have control over my tongue is when it lets me know I have a long ways to go.

1 Corinthians 10:12
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

Gwendolyn said...

Very good thoughts. "Out of the heart of man...the mouth speaks." No one is responsible for my attitudes and actions but me. Somehow we seem to believe that another's sin justifies our own. Not so. When I get a true glimpse of who I really am in my own self will, I am compelled to forgive my offender!

Cindy - Letters From Midlife said...

Ok, this hits a little too close to home! lol!

Seriously, thanks for a reminder to think about my words and actions and how they can affect someone else.

Andrea said...

I love this one! I had never before thought about the flip side of the "worst in me."

Yes! Lord, you mean to reveal the worst in me for my good, so I will know my flaws and failures and bring them to the cross!

Kathleen, I am challenged and filled with fresh thought and conviction. And, yes, I am blinking, too!

Much love,


Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I loved when Beth Moore taught this truth...when the worse is coming up, it is because the worse needs to be removed...that is why God brings it to the surface.
I have been seeing God allow a lot of my dross to come to the surface recently...not fun, but if I allow Him to remove it then I can start to reflect Him and not myself!

Thanks as always for your teaching

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

The worst in me has surfaced in recent days...

I don't like it; not one bit. In fact, I'm mad about it; just have no place to put those emotions right now. Can't even "run" them off. Can't hide. Can't stand. I just have them and no good place to put them except in the Lord's hands and plead for his help and mercy.

The worst in me.

May it be crucified alongside my flesh in this season.


Shirley said...

Well, it's the truth although we don't want to admit it I suppose.

I was in a situation many years ago in which I worked for a man who brought out the worst in me, and I was trying to get out of find another job. Nothing was happening. Then, it occurred to me that God just might have me there in this situation for a life lesson. I submitted to that and asked God to teach me whatever He would in that position. In two weeks, after I had totally submitted myself to it, I had a new job! How do we exercise the fruits of the spirit with nothing to test them against? How are they otherwise developed? How do we truly learn to exercise patience and kindness...unless we are surrounded by the unlovable? Another boss once had a plaque on his desk that gave me much food for thought: Smooth seas never made a skillful sailor. I think God wrote that! ;)

Just a little something from Judy said...

So unexpected and so out of the blue, the worst of me can surface. Over the years I am slowly beginning to feel appreciation for that surfacing because what it shows me in vivid colors is my great need for Him to be seen in my life and not me. The "me" that is seen is the worst. The "Him" that is seen in my life is the best. I love how you shared this, as I always do. It helps me to stop and reflect, think, and face cold hard facts just as they really are..."without Him I can do nothing."

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

I heard someone say things bother us in others, which are weaknesses in us.

Susan :)

Patrina's Pencil said...

Truth, I read this with tears in my eyes - the worst in me makes me very sad. I struggle to deal with that ungodly plank in my eye. But by the time I'd finished reading, I was laughing. :) You transformed my emotions in a matter of sentences! I call that a gift.

Thanks for sharing

Patrina <")>><