“You are the stupidest brother I know”.
“Oh yeah, take that!”
“That’s what you get!”
And my favorite, “I hate you, mom. You are the meanest mom I have!”
Looking back, some of those statements sound silly. But in the heat of the moment, when the dinner is cooking (a-hem, burning), homework is being completed (not really) and the TV is on (blaring), they are not so funny. I had it. I was sick of the bitter and rude talk. I was tired of the biting comments to one another and I just blew. Have you ever had one of those moments you’re not so proud of? The moments when it’s like an out of body experience and you can actually see yourself behaving like a fool? It was one of those moments and suddenly the kid’s mean comments and fighting quickly turned to tears after my rant and rave about how they are so selfish and allowing their anger to get the best of them.
Timeout. Who’s anger was getting the best of them? After sending them to their rooms so that we could all cool down a little bit, I began to think (or feel the Spirit’s convicting me). Here is where the rubber meets the road and I was really convicted in that moment of my own selfish and angry actions. Was I acting in a Christlike manner?
Ephesians (v22-24) reminds us to:
“to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
I had a moment to think about the fact that so often I expect Christlike behabvior from others but not myself. How on Earth will I every teach and guide my children to be Christ like influencers if I don’t lead the way. I know I’m not perfect but in the moment, I knew I had some “splaining to do, Lucy”. The Holy Spirit reminded me of what our actions and words should be.
“26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Needless to say, we had a lot to talk about over dinner that night. Many of the best lessons seem to appear out of nowhere and right here in my own home. I love how the bible ALWAYS meets you exactly where you are at any given moment. After we all had our time to cool down we sat down to discuss all of our behavior and unkind words and we had a helping of love, grace and forgiveness along with our burned dinner.
Lord, thank you so much for sending your Son to show us how live. Holy Spirit, help us to put on the new self and be kind tenderhearted and forgive one another just as you have done for us.