Lately, things have been so busy, and quite frankly, I've wondered if there's something wrong with my brain since I can't seem to remember to even write things down(lol)! I'm accustomed to committing most things to memory and lately that memory has failed me too many times. Can someone tell me how you forget to put dates in your BlackBerry, forget to check phone messages, or how in the world does someone read the calendar wrong? Well, I'm guilty as charged.
Unfortunately, instead of rising to the scheduling challenges appropriately, I have had times of irritability, frustration, and exhaustion. Heard of that show Snapped? Yesterday my sons were goofing off in the grocery store, and well, never mind. . .
I have realized that compartmentalizing can be so wrong when it comes to spirituality. What do I mean? Let me ask forgiveness for those who may be clueless as to what I'm talking about, but I have an inkling that there may be a few of you who can identify.
I have discovered that while going to church, Bible study, and Sunday school and even doing daily devotions and prayer, I can still sometimes not integrate the spiritual application to my life--especially when the pressure is intense. So, I may say something a little sharp, rationalizing that, "Hey, I'm under a lot of stress!" Bottom line, it's not always what we say, but often, how we say it.
I came across these verses in James 3:13-16. "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness and wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." What struck me here is that our conversation should be good and be a result of our meekness and wisdom that has come from relationship with God.
James 3:17-18 explains, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."
We can have good intentions, but the pressures of life can get our priorities out of order. We may not even say anything wrong, but the problem may be HOW we say it. We have to submit ourselves fully to the Lord because we know that He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Part of the problem with blowing off steam in a negative way, I've come to realize, is because we get an inflated sense of self and pride. What we want and feel we need becomes more important than anything else. We feel frustrated and overwhelmed and simply let go.
Staying humble and surrendering all things to the Lord will give our lives the balance that we need to handle the stress and chaos of everyday life. Consciously integrating and applying the Word into all areas of our lives, especially stressful areas can really expose if we have wisdom that comes from God. The evidence is clear. We sow peace, righteousness, and as the scripture says, we're "easy to be entreated."
So, maybe it's not what you said, but HOW did you say that? Was it with gentleness and did it provoke a peaceful reaction? Drop me a line. . .