Take notice. Are you giving your best to your colleagues, teachers, students, acquaintances, and/or employers and giving a lesser version of yourself to your loved ones? Are you cheerful, energetic, and respectful at work, capable of managing your emotions even when you face someone who is rude, frustrated, or stressed? Yet, when you get home, you let your guard down and somehow think that being your real self is completely acceptable and your family gets your leftovers while everyone else gets your best. Our leftovers are whatever is left over from the day albeit stress, tension, and exhaustion.
Over the years, I have seen this, not only in myself, but in many of my friends and even my children (at times). And about three years ago I became acutely aware of this at the dinner table one night. It seemed like everyone was in a bad mood. We were snapping at each other, impatient over the silliest things, and not a smile was cracked throughout the entire dinner. I wondered, how could this be? I just saw my daughter on the phone, smiling while positively engaged in her call. I knew my son had been out with his friends all afternoon having fun. I, myself, had spent an entire day at work encouraging and supporting others. So, I asked the question… Why do we give our best to everyone else in our lives, but give our leftovers to the people who matter the most? Why do they get the impatient, frustrated, tired, grumpy version of us?
Needless to say, we had a good discussion and learned to be more mindful of how we treat each other. While we should be able to relax at home and be our real selves, this does not give us license to be impatient with the ones we love. Shouldn’t we all work on giving everyone in our lives the best version of us?
This same thing goes for us and God. Are we giving the Lord our best or are we giving Him our leftovers? Does He get the love, praise, service, and worship that He deserves from us? Think about it.
Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord. Psalms 107:43