Today was my three-month anniversary as a legal assistant. Thus far I have enjoyed working at this law firm that works on both criminal cases and civil, domestic matters as well. I love the typing of court pleadings, organizing, filing, and learning about the Utah legal system. Because of the diverse types of cases that our attorney’s handle, I have learned a lot about criminal matters such as DUI’s, assault charges, drug charges, etc. I have also learned a lot about civil matters such as divorces, paternity issues, evictions, etc.
Along with this diverse cases, comes diverse people. Because of the situations that our clients have gotten themselves into, or that other people have gotten them into, they tend to not be very happy people (to say the least). See, I work at the reception desk, which often times prevents me from getting as much work done as I would like. As the front desk worker I have to answer all the phones and greet all of the clients that call or come into our office. I have act as middle man between clients and the attorneys, and as such I generally get the brunt of the anger and frustration (often unwarranted anger) of our clients.
However, when clients are yelling at me, I cannot yell back no matter how frustrated I feel in return. It is not unusual for clients to call me a liar or allude to me as acting as liar at least once a day. So obviously I have really had to work on patience lately. This recent frustration and distaste for people who I deal with everyday has led me to the passage Galatians 5:16-24, which states
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Sadly, in my line of work I come in a lot of contact with the acts of the flesh mentioned in this passage. I am constantly speaking with clients that overflow with rage and discord. And sadly, I feel like I have not done a good job of displaying the fruits of the spirit in return. Instead of using gentleness and kindness and joy I simply respond with false empathy. I hate that I am not living up to the example and person that I could be if I simply asked for God’s help throughout the day.
As a result of this disappointment in myself, I have decided to try to focus hard on one of these fruits of the spirit each week, and during that week I will try to make every effort to use that fruit as I deal with the clients that come into and call our office.
- Week One: Love
- Week Two: Joy
- Week Three: Peace
- Week Four: Patience
- Week Five: Kindness
- Week Six: Goodness
- Week Seven: Faithfulness
- Week Eight: Gentleness
- Week Nine: Self-control
So this coming up week I will focus on love and how to react with love toward the people I come into contact with. I will try to give a weekly update of how things are going with that week’s fruit, however I need you to hold me accountable for trying to use these fruits daily, because honestly I think this task will prove challenging, so please help me out – check in and ask me how I am doing with the fruit of the spirit of that week.