I’m not feeling very Christian today.
I want to be crass.
I want to shake someone or maybe knock some sense into them.
I want to lay hands on someone, and not the holy kind.
I want to grumble and complain.
I feel it festering up from deep inside.
I doubt that I am the only Christian to feel this way. That is how I feel today and I’m not proud of it. The Bible says that out of the mouth flows the abundance of the heart. I haven’t let it reach my lips, but it does make me pause because I can see what is in my heart. Worse, I know that God knows it is there too.
I have to pause and allow God’s presence to surround me. I have to allow His mercy and grace to flood my soul. I realize despite the way I am feeling today, God has done a mighty work in my life. For His work, I am thankful.
There was a time not even too long ago, I would have allowed that feeling to manifest in my life. I would have let the comments role from my tongue, cutting others to the core of their being – even if they were not the object of my feeling. I would have reacted to how I was feeling on anyone in my path. I have never been a violent person, but my words could kill. Eventually the feelings would pass. I would feel deep remorse. I would apologize and repent. Until the next time.
It went from daily, to frequently, to infrequently. The feelings still come from time to time. I remember the first time I realize that I had a choice in how I responded. I was sparring with my husband. Things were getting heated, as they usually would when I would start to lash out verbally. The one thing about spending over a decade with someone – you really learn what buttons to push for the greatest reaction. I rounded the corner into the entryway and heard that still small voice. “Shut your mouth, Jackie.”
It has been a long process, one that is still in progress. Learning to silence yourself when you want to strike back takes self-control. It is the fruit of the Spirit I feel least in touch with; but today in the midst of my feelings I realize it is the one most active. I wasn’t feeling love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness – but I was responding with self-control. Yes, I still needed the gentle prodding of the Lord, but I listened before it hit my lips. I know if He is changing the outward action, He is changing the inward being.