I went to bed close to midnight last night because I was trying to get some glitches straight with the website. I’m one of those, “It has to be done right now and not a minute later” kinds of people. I get it from my Granny. When her mind is made up, there’s no changing. And once she’s set on something, it’s time to get moving to make it happen. I love that woman.
This morning I was really hoping to wake up a few minutes before the kids so I could catch up on my Bible reading plan. I’ve gotten so behind and it’s been so hard to make up for the days I’ve missed. But at 7:13am the sweetest little boy sits up in his crib calling my name and is ready to start the day eating Walmart brand Apple Jacks. Yep, that’s how we roll in the Jones house. Just ask me about my mad coupon skills.
I decided to let little man eat breakfast early so I could curl up on the couch and try to get some reading in. I’ve gone too many days without a spiritual fill up and I can sooooo feel it. So I choose the “catch me up” option on my Bible app and it brings me up to speed at day 55. I started January 1st. Yeah. I’m a little off. Don’t judge me.
The passage started in Matthew 5:21 and talked about how we will be judged for our outbursts of anger. Hmmmm. Did that stop you in your tracks like it did me? This immediately spoke to me because I have inherited the Lack of Patience gene that likes to rear it’s ugly head quite frequently.
It really bothers me because I want so desperately to be a safe haven for my husband and children to be able to come and confide in. Sometimes I have no problem remaining cool, calm and collective. But there are times, almost on a daily basis, where I’m just stretched well beyond my breaking point and I snap – on whoever happens to be in my path. It leaves me feeling so empty, shallow, and like I have a closet full of horrible mom awards lining the shelves.
Jesus continues to say that if we are offering our gifts at the alter and we remember the “big ugly elephant” that stands between us and another person, we are to leave the alter, go to that person and resolve it. I remember witnessing a beautiful moment like this a few years ago during a worship service. It was a sweet atmosphere in the room and the Spirit of God was beginning to move. If you’ve never experienced this, oh my word, it’s the most amazing thing in the entire world!
Well, one of the musicians suddenly stopped playing, walked off stage and bee-lined straight for this individual. They spoke for a few minutes and he came back and continued playing like nothing had ever happened. That left some of us scratching our heads wondering what just took place. It was such a humble moment because we later found out he did just what Scripture intended. he and this other person had some issues and he felt God tell him to go resolve it immediately.
Wow! Could you imagine? The music is rocking, people are lifting their hands and their voices praising the King of kings and they lose a musician momentarily. But honey, I fully believe he was set free in a mighty way that day! He obeyed the Word of God and the voice of God and made things right.
You may be up to your eyeballs in paperwork at the office. Maybe you’re running late to a meeting because your 2-year-old hugged you with sticky maple syrup hands and you screamed and hollered at him the whole way up the stairs to go change your clothes. Or maybe like me and you’re up to your eyebrows in housework that desperately needs attending to and boxes that need to be packed.
Time out. Stop right there. Don’t you ever become too big or too busy to stoop down and say you’re sorry. It takes a bigger person to say “I’m sorry” than to just continue on like it never happened. Our children learn more behavior from watching how we respond to things, and quite frankly that can be frightening. If we lash out on them for spilling soda on the floor, then expect them to flip out when they don’t get their way. They learn from the best, right?
You’ve heard the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Yeah. It sounded about as stupid in 1st grade as it does now. Words cut so deep into our souls and they’re not easily forgotten. They can lift someone up or tear someone down in a millisecond.
Your spouse needs your words of affirmation and support. Your children need to hear through your words and actions that you love them unconditionally. It’s so important for them to hear us say we’re sorry. We’re so far from being perfect.
Be mindful of the words you speak. Ask God to guard your lips and help you to speak wisely. Take a time out right now and ask God if there’s anyone who has been waiting anxiously on a heartfelt apology from you.
Maybe you’re the one hurting and not the guilty party. Take a deep breath, pray for strength and wisdom and you approach them first. Apologize for the riff between the two of you. It’s possible they don’t see where they have offended you or they’re not capable of making that first step, but your words could help chisel the stone around their heart and expose the hurting soul underneath. You may help to set them free! How awesome would that be?
God doesn’t want us to live with chains and shackles keeping us bound and imprisoned. Guard your hearts and mouths. And remember, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Take a time out and evaluate what’s on the inside today. Lets do this thing together!
Living Life Unscripted,