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