Given To Road Rage!


Photo credit: PDXdj via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

I had a pretty intense bout of road rage last night. I’m not usually given to such childishness, but I was tired, really didn’t feel well, was already mad about something else, and I felt justified. Poor Scott was in the car with me holding on for dear life while my Mustang was fighting with another. I felt justified in the heat of the moment. (If I’m going 85 in a 70 and you ride my bumper so close I can’t see your headlights, you’re liable to get brake-checked too.)

There I was, minding my own business, breaking the law peacefully, when out of the shadows behind me came someone else breaking it way worse! In my high and mighty mind, the little blonde in the cliche red sports car behind me needed a lesson not to ride so close to me! After all, if I had to slam on my brakes, she would hit me! So, what did I do? Slammed on my brakes (just a little). After which there was a game of tag. I won’t give you the blow-by-blow, but let’s just say that I broke a few more laws. Not the least of which was the speeding law that I broke to a very much larger extent. It looked like a football game.

Why am I giving this confession? Well, because we play this game a lot. (At least I do.) I feel justified in my own sins because someone else is sinning way worse. It’s embarrassing to admit this all because I know better. I’ve been taught better. My father, especially, taught me to “heap burning coals on their heads.” He also would hold up one hand and count out five words to me: what – is – that – to – me? And of course, he would remind me that I had a gigantic plank protruding from my own eye…

It is easy as a Christian to get settled into the notion that we are “living right.” After all, we have read our Bibles, we give of our time, talents, and money, we go to church, we pray for others, we are kind and loving, and we follow the Ten Commandments along with a few other tenets of our faith (somewhat). It’s easy to forget that we are also huge sinners. We look all pretty on the outside because we want people to have the “right” idea of a Christian. But the truth is, we know better. We’ve been taught better. We also judge, gossip, lie, cheat, break laws, and a myriad of other things.

Jesus taught us to mind our own business and not try to “teach someone else a lesson.” He warned us of this self-righteousness. He lived it out when He told the woman at the well to simply, “Go, and sin no more.” Could He have made a spectacle of her and “taught her a lesson?” Sure. And HE would have had the right because He didn’t have His own sins to deal with, plus, He is God.

Ouch. There goes the pride I shouldn’t have being hurt. I have a lot to be sorry for. Looking back on any given day leads me to a lengthy list of wrong-doing. Back to the drawing board…

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”
Matthew 7:4

Guest Author: Rebecka Michael

Why Are You Here?

 

“Why are you here?!” I asked a couple of my troublemakers Friday.
“Fair question,” I thought to myself.
My expectation was that I would get the “right” answer – “to learn,” but of course the little stinkers gave me the real answer on their minds.
One said, “‘Cause they make me.”
Another said, “To eat and talk to my friends.”
Leave it to a teenager to be a smart alec. I guess I had it coming. Ask a stupid question…
Of course, I know teenagers, so I was ready with an answer when one of the little goobers asked me, “Why are you here?”
“Because you need me, that’s why I’m here,” I answered.
“Why ARE you here?!” I thought to myself.
I mean, I could be standing in a factory putting my one nut on that one important bolt over and over. That’s an important job. Why go through the stress of this job?
Of course, His still, small voice echoed what I said,”Because they need you.”

It’s a fair question to ask yourself, especially if you’re a Christian. Not because you don’t know the answer, but as a reminder. They need us.

That also got me pondering Jesus leaving His throne to walk with us in the flesh. He came simply because I needed Him. He’s here through the Holy Spirit to be here because we need Him. I’m always both perplexed and humbled by that thought.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10 NIV

Enjoy your full life today!

Guest Author: Rebecka Michael

Sonic the Hedgehog

When dealing with hardships in life (circumstantial, physical, mental, emotional), it’s so easy to go into “Sonic the Hedgehog” mode. Just ball up, put your prickly spines out, and go headlong into the obstacles blindly, flailing around with defensive thoughts, emotions, words, and actions.

I’m guilty of lashing out without first weighing the situation rationally. So often, I look back at the way I’ve dealt with a situation only to find myself at fault for spur of the moment words and actions that I am ashamed of. Usually, a gentler, more loving approach would have yielded a much better result for both myself and the recipient thereof.

I will give myself credit for having started tackling this part of my nature with God’s help some 15 years ago when I reflected on how I was approaching my children. However, the old nature of “fight” (I rarely choose the “flight” response, which has both its good and bad sides) still comes flying out sometimes before my brain has a chance to check my mouth. (I’m sure none of you have that problem.)

Here is where I try to look at Jesus’ responses to things (which really makes me feel bad) to try to take a page from His book. Only once does the scripture find Him showing any kind of aggression toward anyone, (Anyone who needs to join me in the woodshed for a well deserved wallop is welcome.) and that was a perfectly well-deserved, righteous aggression.

Tomorrow, when I go to school, I am going to try harder to meet challenges with a more loving and metered response, taking time to let my mouth wait for my brain instead of the other way around.

At least I know I’m not the only one:
“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
Psalm 141:3 NIV

Guest Writer: Dr. Rebecka Michael