Recently, the world has turned its attention to the “Take-this-job-and-shove-it” fiasco with Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant. If you don’t already know (and I don’t know how you could not), a JetBlue customer was rude and confrontational with Steven, who decided he’d had enough. So he grabbed a beer and exited the plane and his job on the escape slide of the plane. Talk about going out with a bang!
The reason I bring this up is not to discuss the rightness or wrongness of the flight attendant’s actions, but to consider the mind-set that we all can fall into at times. We grow discouraged by the difficulties we face or the persecution we are receiving, and decide to let our feelings and other people’s bad attitudes determine our choices.
Today I was reading in Nehemiah, chapter four. If you’re not familiar, it is the account of how Nehemiah rallied the people of Israel to rebuild the crumbled wall around Jerusalem. But that wasn’t even half of the story. The Israelites faced fierce persecution and criticism from a man named, Sanballat. Sadly, Sanballat and his friends decided to shout out insults to the people about their work and their God. This reminded me of Steven Slater’s situation, however, the response of the Israelites was vastly different.
Don’t get me wrong. There were many Israelites who wanted to give up. There were people who specifically came to Nehemiah wanting to “take this job and shove it.” But Nehemiah encouraged them to “Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious,” and to continue to persevere in the face of hardship. Thankfully, the people listened to Nehemiah and trusted God to protect and provide for them. So what about you?
- Is there a situation where you are discouraged by the problems that keep cropping up?
- Is there a person who continues to put you down or discourage you in an area of your life?
Honestly, I can relate to the flight attendant’s frustration. But I want to be a person who does not let other people’s bad behavior determine my response. And in order to do that, I need God to help me to rise above the fray. Are you willing to make that hard, but right commitment?