Monday, June 21, 2010
Something happened the other day, and it made me ANGRY. It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers, but the stars aligned last week, and I was furious. Couldn't see straight. Had to physically remove myself from the room and walk around the building a couple of times, just to calm down. Pretty sure my eyes were flashing red flames.
As I steamed around in circles outside, I felt - even more than outrage - a strong sense that the Lord was trying to teach me something amid the rush of emotions I was experiencing: this, MLH, was an opportunity to practice what you preach.
And then James 1:19-20 came to mind...
"My dear brothers, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."
God's word weighed heavily on my heart, but I kept fuming. To keep myself from climbing the walls, I focused on the "quick and slow" parts. Over and over, I repeated verse 19. I even wrote it down on a post-it and hung it in my line of sight.
Quick and slow. Quick and slow.
And then it hit me. The reason we are to be quick and slow. Right there in verse 20: anger does not bring about the righteousness that GOD desires.
So then I thought, "well, what does?"
Hebrews 12:11 tells us that discipline produces a harvest of righteousness, but that discipline isn't fun; in fact, it is PAINful. Then James tells us in 3:18 that peacemakers who sow peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
So being a "peacemaker" means fighting off my inclination to flip the table and make some (justified, I think) accusations...to wail until I feel like I'm heard...to be angry with those who have wronged me.
I do not want to do that.
I want to get in someone's face and "be right."
But being right doesn't necessarily = being righteous.
If I apply my life to these Biblical principles, then my reaction must be the opposite of what I want to do. Being quick to listen and slow to anger requires practice!! Discipline!! These things do not come to me naturally!!
If I am to pursue the righteousness He has called me into, I must
CHOOSE to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.
Ouch. This discipline thing is hard.
Thinking on these things this week:
Proverbs 29:11 - A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.
Ephesians 4:1 - As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
*photo found @ http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
So this week has had its ups and downs, as all weeks have in our household.
My girls and I just finished enjoying a glorious 2 weeks of vacation time with my husband. My oldest kept waking up in the morning and was positively gleeful when she came in to our room and, quote, "Daddy STILL home!" So many times she wakes up, only to find that Brett has left for his work week. It's not like he can say goodbye at 4 am, kiddo. We had a glorious vacation, even if we didn't really go anywhere. Just the fact that we were home as a family was vacation enough for me. Ah...warm fuzzies.
Brett took off for work last Sunday, and I packed up the girls and headed to my parents for the day. I was still living in post-vacation bliss, when I hopped on to Facebook before heading out the door. I saw on a former boyfriend's status that he and his wife were headed to Costa Rica on their honeymoon. Whoah...wife? Wedding? Married? I took a deep breathe, allowed my blood pressure and adrenaline to calm, and then thought to myself, "Sara, just grow up."
Have any of you ladies experienced this? It's a time when that long-lost ex, who for lack of a better term, completely "ruined" a good chunk of your life, suddenly pops back up, and your gut instinct kicks in. You first become upset because, darn it, he's HAPPY. Then you are filled with pitty for his poor new wife. Then your mind starts reflecting back on the past. It's takes a bit to explain, but it all happens in a millisecond.
These thoughts stayed in my head on the whole drive from Noblesville to Lafayette. All the time, I was reflecting on how I thought I had forgiven all the wrongs and just let go of that part of my life, but apparently I hadn't. On the drive, the sky was blue, the girls were sleeping, and I was pleasantly sipping a diet Coke and listening to music. Then I thought of all the things that happened in my life that were a result of that relationship. There's no conceivable way I would be living the life I had now without going through those bumps on the past. No way. And what would I do without my husband and my girls? I felt like a total shmuck. A child. A foolish little girl that held grudges. A person who doesn't forgive.
So my reflections came full circle on that short drive in the car. I realized that it's hard to say that you forgive someone. It's even harder to actually MEAN it. I have truly let go and forgiven, and now, as I thumb through the pages on Facebook and see pictures of his wedding, I am truly and honestly filled with JOY, which is a sentiment I thought I would never project toward him. I hope that his life is filled with as many, if not more, blessings than I have been given.
...and I hope he has wildly rambunctious children...
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.