People get on my nerves all the time. I’m sure everyone feels similarly, because everyone annoys everyone constantly. It’s the little things that get on my nerves. Like a person not driving fast enough when a light turns green or someone cutting me in line at the grocery store. Usually I just think “Jerk” and then forget about it. However, recently I haven’t called annoying people bad names, but instead I think “Who do you think you are?” while using a very condescending tone in my head. This thought, unlike the other, has stuck with me; I don’t just forget. It has done more harm to me than to the person that I directed it toward.
When I direct the phrase “Who do you think you are?” at someone I call there identity into question. For some, this question is hard to answer. In the past couple years the idea of identity has become more complicated then ever. Now, I won’t get into that whole talk because 1) I don’t want to and 2) I don’t feel qualified enough to talk about it in the length it deserves. I never say this to people out loud, but imagine if an annoying person tried to scold you on a superfluous subject at work and you retorted with this phrase. Unless that person is firm in their identity then they could not only struggle with the tone in which this phrase is used, but also with the question itself. Sure they will stop scolding you on whatever subject, but now they could be yelling “How dare you!” This would cause a lot more problems.
While bringing someone’s identity into question is surely wrong, there is something that happens with this phrase that is worse. When I think this phrase toward others I automatically assume that I am somehow above them. I put myself in a place of superiority over this person who is annoying me. I for whatever reason think that I have the ability to call this person’s identity into question. I also think that I am better than them simply because I am annoyed by whatever they did. I am not above anyone, nor are they above me. We are all equally human and loved by God. Sure some people have higher stature than me, like the President, but even he is not more loved by God than I am. I have no place asking this question with a condescending tone.
Over the past few weeks this phrase has become my retort, but it has also become a constant question I ask myself. Not because I don’t know who I am. It’s more of a reminder that who I think I am should not be someone who is above anyone else. My view of myself and others needs to be filtered through God’s love. By viewing people as those who are loved by God then I will also become more patient with them, and they won’t annoy me as much.
“If you accept what people call you, you will start to believe it. Find your identity in Christ, not in what others say.”- Joyce Meyer