I Want a Do-Over
"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." Romans 12:2a (NLT)
Before blogs, Facebook and Pinterest, we actually used cookbooks. Old-fashioned cookbooks, with pages that you turn, not swipe on an electronic device. I opened one of those folded-down, tattered pages and found an old favorite. I labored throughout the day, creating a magnificent meal featuring one of my grandmother’s treasured recipes as the centerpiece.
I couldn’t wait for my family to gather around the table that night. My husband usually arrived home at or before 6:30 p.m., so that was our appointed time to eat. The kids and I sat down for dinner at 6:30 … but no husband.
6:40, still no husband.
6:50 … no husband and no call. Where was he? How thoughtless. Not even a call.
At 6:55, when the phone finally rang 25 minutes later, I was fuming! So what did I do? I ignored it, and told the kids to eat.
When my husband finally walked in at 7:05, I narrowed my eyes and gave him the silent treatment. Not just for that moment, but for the rest of the evening. I was furious. How could he be so rude? I worked on this meal all day. How hard is it to call?
That night, I allowed my emotions to override any and all rational thoughts. I was frustrated, and just plain mean.
I look back now and think how differently this night would have ended had I prepared my heart for the disappointment, anger and hurt feelings. But I hadn’t. I had nothing but my emotions from which to pull … and they ran wild.
But what if I had more than just my fickle feelings? What if I had God’s Word stored in my heart to renew my mind, to speak truth over my emotions, to rein in my tongue, to soften my eyes? What if I acted in accordance with our key verse so that I thought differently and responded differently? "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think" (Romans 12:2a).
What if I got a "do over"?
Let’s replay the night, but with a different scenario. In this one, I have readied and renewed my mind with God’s Word.
Well, 6:30 arrives, but Monty doesn’t. The thoughts creep in: Where is he? Why hasn’t he called? He knows we eat at 6:30 every night. He always calls when he is going to be late.
As the minutes tick away, my anger escalates. But suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see pink sticky notes over the kitchen sink. Three Scriptures that I had not only memorized but also personalized. I walk over and drink in the words:
Wendy, a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
Wendy, a fool gives full vent to her anger, but a wise woman keeps herself under control. (Proverbs 29:11)
Wendy, be kind and compassionate to your family, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)
In this scenario, I was open to God as He interrupted my angry thoughts and replaced them with fresh thoughts … with His powerful, life-giving, life-transforming, mind-renewing words. Words that are a gift from the One who only wants the very best for me, my marriage and my family. When I read them, God reminds me of who He is and who He wants me to be. The Holy Spirit softens my heart.
So this time, when the phone rings at 6:50, I answer it. I hear my husband’s sincere apology and accept it. He walks in the door at 7:05, after a long day’s work, forgiven and ready to enjoy a wonderful meal with his family … experiencing grace, love, forgiveness and joy.
Which is the better scenario?
Heavenly Father, fill me with the riches of Your Word. Give me a heart that loves and seeks after Your Truth. Guard my heart. Interrupt my thoughts. Renew my mind so that I can live ruled by Your love and Your Word, not by my emotions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 29:11, "Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back." (NLT)
To gain wisdom on how to make more faith-filled choices, check out Wendy Blight’s latest book, Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life.
Stop by Wendy’s blog for more guidance on how to personalize and pray God’s Word. She is also offering a FREE devotional, "Five Days to a Faith-Full Life."
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Pray and ask God to reveal an area where you might need a "do-over."
Then open God’s Word and find one or two verses that address the area you chose. Personalize the verses, and ask God to renew your mind. Invite Him to give you the strength and the power to accomplish a "do-over" in that area.
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