With each gesture, each word or tone of voice that I choose to take as an affront to my worth or goodness I make myself a little more miserable and a little more insufferable. That child who just rolled his eyes at me? That behavior must be assaulted! Because, after all, I don’t deserve such attitude (my thought is not that the child must be disciplined because his soul is in danger; I don’t care so much about that right now). My spouse didn’t respond the way I’d hoped? I can’t just overlook that! Are you kidding me? That’s an attack on my value and seriousness and weight as a person.
Each and every little slight or difficulty that I opt to take personally is another handful of seeds that I’m sowing that yield awful, deadly weeds as time goes on. Weeds that choke out contentment and gladness and good humor. The more I take personally, the more I can expect to see personal bitterness and strained relationships in my life.
Word to the unwise: Take yourself a little less seriously. Choose to overlook even real and intended insults. And remember that according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you don’t deserve anyone’s respect. Remember these things. You’ll be happier and more pleasant to be around.
Trust me. I’m writing from less than 24 hours’ distance from doing this in the wrong direction. Pride and self-importance made me a mean and hardened man for a few hours last night. It was unpleasant.
Take yourself less seriously. Have less grievances. Your blood pressure and your closest relationships will reflect the change sooner than you might think.
A humble heart is more than ready to bear good fruit in place of bad weeds.