Yesterday I told someone off.
I used all the words.
It was ugly.
It gets worse.
Yesterday, I told someone off in front of my kids.
“That’s pretty classy”… said no one ever.
As it turns out, the whole, “love your enemies” thing is much harder when
your enemies are terrible people… when YOUR heart is not right.
For a moment, I felt strong. As though I was somehow made heavy by the weight of the bullets that flew from my mouth.
For a moment, I felt justified, gratified, satisfied that I had the courage to cut instead of walking away.
For a moment I convinced myself that righteous anger could still be righteous even when it produced an unrighteous result.
For a moment, I believed the lie that love and kindness are reserved for the loving and the kind.
For a moment, I forgot the sweetness of gentleness and self-control, and chose the rottenness of hatred and discord.
But the moment didn’t last.
And as it turns out, word bullets spewed in anger leave an insufferable taste of poison on your tongue.
They are reckless.
Lies disguised as truth.
Weakness disguised as strength.
Cowardice disguised as courage.
Pride disguised as justification.
Selfishness disguised as standing up for yourself.
Symptoms of a sick heart.
When we got home I sat the kids down and cried. I told them I was sorry. I told them I was wrong. I told them, mommy needs more self-control! Together we prayed to the giver of good things and we asked for more of Him and less of me. They laughed, we hugged, and they kissed my cheek. To them, grace is as easy as breathing.
I don’t know what makes a heart turn sour. I think it begins with a careless choice to chew on toxic thoughts and swallow them whole instead of taking them captive and challenging them with Truth. A diet full of poison will invariably make you sick.
“You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first” Revelations 2:5
But just as some choices bring sickness, other choices bring healing. I want to make better choices. I want to love my enemies.
Is it enough to WANT to do something?
But it’s a place to start, and I think God can work with that.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:10