Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Who's Listening?

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." - Ephesians 4:29

Sometimes, I am not a very nice person.
There. I've said it. The cat's out of the bag - no denying it now.

At times I'm grouchy, irritated, impatient, angry, sarcastic (well, that's all the time), rude and petty.
That's quite a list, don't you think?

What really gets me is that one of those emotions usually leads into an action; and it leads to another emotion that leads into another action; kind of like a horrible domino effect, ruining my day and everyone else's whose path happens to cross mine.
And making it even worse are the things that just roll right out of my mouth when I'm feeling like that.  My daughter tells me it happens mostly when I'm driving her back and forth to the ice rink in busy rush hour traffic. (If you live in the Metro DC area, I know you're feeling me now.)
Aiyiyi - pretty bad when your daughter is your conscience check.

Apparently she's listening.
Not really setting that great Christ-like example for her, eh?

The passage I've quoted from the book of Ephesians is one that gets me every time - especially the part at the end about benefiting those who listen.
I ask myself, what does it benefit my teen daughter to hear me call the driver that just cut me off in traffic a 'stupid-stupidhead'?
Nothing. It benefits her nothing.

But what does benefit her are times that I allow the Holy Spirit to be heard in my heart and speak peace to my soul. It's then that I am able to turn to her and ask her forgiveness for my mean-spirited tirade.
The person driving that other car doesn't hear me - they probably don't even know they cut me off - but my daughter is watching and listening to me all the time.
If I'm not setting the example of Christ-like love for her then who will?
And what she really needs to see and hear is a Mom who recognizes her sin and is willing to set aside pride and ask forgiveness.
Here's another scripture that I speak to her a lot:
So, when I'm grouchy and irritated, what's coming from my heart and out of my mouth?
Nothing that builds anyone up, I can assure you.

But, when my heart and mind are fixed on the Jesus who loves me (and thankfully forgives me!) I'm able to recognize the fall flat on my face moments and turn them into teachable moments for both of us.
That's the Holy Spirit working inside me and thankfully, it's beneficial because I know she's listening.

Here's a new song/video I discovered this morning and of course - God being God - He knew it was what I needed to write about today.
Listen and be blessed.


With a courageous heart, 

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