The saying, “Some days you get the bear, and then some days the bear gets you” landed squarely in my lap today. Our Sunday school lesson yesterday was on taming our tongue and the power of our speech. It is an area of life my life in which I struggled, and I have submitted it to the authority of Jesus to gain victory. My overall attitude has been very helpful in controlling my tongue. Walking with Jesus every day. Resting in Him in the tough stuff of life. His peace that surpasses understanding all flew out the window after weeks of not feeling well and steroids that affect my mood. Couple this with more unsettling circumstances around me and BOOM – the bear got me. The old cracks in the armor failed. Not completely, but I was certainly knocked off my mark! A grouchy and irritable woman I have become. Not fit to be around others. Not resting in His peace. I find it just beyond my grasp.
So, just as I was reminded about my weakness and how satan loves to use them, I stumbled. I think the best mark of a Christian is what you do after you trip. No excuses. Own it. Confess it. Fix it. Repent of it. Accept the forgiveness of Jesus and others and stand up under it. He is our strength and our redeemer. It is ok to mess up – He has grace enough for that, but I should be the first one to have my hand up taking the full blame for my actions. It is not ok to duck away, hide it, dodge the consequences or blame others.
My God is full of grace. He loves me even when I mess it all up. But He does insist that I try to stay on His path of holiness and righteousness. My fleshly, sinful failures will come with consequences that I will bear. And as we learned in this Sunday’s sermon – God disciplines His children because He loves us. He is for us – changing our character to become like Jesus. This process of sanctification can be painful at times, but it produces the fruit of righteousness.
Thank You Jesus for showing me my sin and loving me enough to die for me. Thank You for the grace of second, third and fourth chances. Help me Lord to lean in toward You even harder especially when I am out of sorts. Fill me with this same grace for all those around me – as I have received, may I also give. Guard my mouth and my emotions while my body struggles to heal. You tested my words and my convictions today and I’m afraid I didn’t earn a very high mark. Thank You Lord for the strength You gave me in the midst of my impatience and frustration. I am so grateful that Your mercies are new every morning. Amen.
God is good all the time – even when I am not. Run toward Him. Be encouraged. Press on.