Ruined for Good
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
Have you ever felt the frustration of having something ruined? Maybe you've experienced grape juice on the carpet, scratches on hardwood floors, permanent ink on your favorite shirt, or something similar.
My daughter Ashley once went up our stairway with a crayon putting tick marks on our freshly painted walls with each step she took. Then she dragged the crayon all the way down the hall to her room. Did I mention the freshly painted walls?
I wanted to pull my hair out by the roots!
I'd like to be a mom who handles mishaps and messes with a graceful, "That's okay, Dear." But I was born with firecrackers in my blood. So when things like the crayon incident happen, I have to make the choice to let the Holy Spirit reign me in.
This means me getting into God's Word every day and praying for Him to give me grace, patience and self-control. I have to make the choice every day to invite God's spirit to interrupt my fleshly tendencies so I can have gentle answers that turn away wrath as today's key verse encourages me to offer.
God helps me with perspective changers. He shows me a different way to look at and process things that trigger my emotions. In response to my frustration with my kids ruining things, He gave me a sweet change of perspective that improved my outlook and diffused my anger.
While visiting my husband Art's parents, I took a liking to a writing desk in their home. I mentioned to my mother-in-law that I'd love to have it if she ever decided to get rid of it. But she was quick to tell me that she would never get rid of it because it was priceless. She unlatched the fold-down lid to reveal what made this desk so priceless.
In a little boy's handwriting the letters A-R-T were scratched onto the surface. She admitted to being angry with my husband when this happened, but now the scratches that seemed to have ruined her desk are priceless treasures to her. Her little boy's handwriting is saved for her to cherish and remember.
The desk had been ruined...for good.
Dear Lord, thank You for perspective changes that help me to see past the here and now so that I can see Your truth which sets me free. Set me free today from anger, firecracker emotions, short fuses and explosive tempers... so that I can be free to reveal the YOU in me! In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
In your journal, write about a frustrating experience that you've recently had with a loved one and how God might want you to change your perspective.
How might our actions change when our perspectives change?
Isaiah 43:18-19, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" (NIV)
Ephesians 4:31-32, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." (ESV)