The last several days, I have been pondering Ephesians 4… especially the last few verses that contrast the out-workings of the ‘old’ vs. the results (fruit?) of the ‘new.’
It is amazing to me that I can go from ‘new’ to ‘old’ in a heartbeat. And just when I thought I was doing so good, out comes the snippy-ness. Harsh tone. Hard edge to the voice. Mean face. Ouch.
The other day, I was ‘in the moment’ in a ‘strong discussion’ with theBean. And in the middle of it, she ruined it by saying, “Look at your face.” She wasn’t trying to draw attention to my beauty, but rather to the nasty ‘mean face’ expression I had on it. Ticked me off that she’d try to derail our discussion with such trivialities, so I didn’t look full into the mirror… but I did peeky-peeky out of my left eye. I was startled at what I saw.
It was a face that I didn’t recognize as mine. It was twisted at the corners of the mouth, eyebrows up, lips tight & in a snarl… I didn’t need Dr. Lightman to tell me that it was anger, rage, & disgust that were coming out…
It was ugly. And it was me. Is me. Is not what I want from me. I want the new. For me. For theBean. For the kids. Not to give full vent to my anger, or to let a response build up & ride the waves of feeling & emotion that so easily give place to wronging another, even if just for the momentary satisfaction of Letting. It. All. Out.
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. Proverbs 29:11 New International Version
Self-control is me cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit – & not letting the groundhog drive the truck.