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A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. Proverbs 29:11
Some days I wake up. Have my time with Jesus. Drink my piping hot cup of liquid consciousness and feel really joyful.
Then, something happens that jumps right into my joyful little bubble.
Like, this morning.
I was driving my children to school, minding my business, still bubbling over with Jesus and my coffee buzz.
I had even just finished praying over my kids, for Heaven's sake when it happened.
We were getting ready to make the turn into the high school and a lady made a gesture to me and mouthed something. It wasn't even a foul gesture like you are probably thinking, but it was rude. Unnecessary.
My face flushed red. My blood pressure rose a few notches.
Why did she have to be rude? Why??
My day was doing just fine without her snarky gesture.
My oldest looked at me and said, "Wow, what was that about?"
I held my tongue [this isn't always the case]. It was hard.
Of course, as God would have it, I had just read about pride and the importance of practicing what we preach in the book of Matthew this morning. I had even got out my big blue pen and circled and starred the passage.
Little did I know the lesson would be coming soon.
1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Matthew 23:1-4
Is God working out something in my heart, or what?
There are many things that happen during the course of a day that offend us.
They sting our flesh. Our pride gets bumped into.
Constantly we tell our children to take the high road. The narrow path. Look the other way. Pray for those that persecute you.
Yet, are we practicing what we preach?
I know I haven't at times.
My children have even called me out on it. That's always fun.
As parents, we are always talking the talk. But, do we walk the walk?
Like, really. Do we walk the walk?
Are we easily offended? Do we find ourselves quick to spout off our opinions and thoughts when a mouth filter is in order? How do we treat those that serve us? Are we rude, irritated, and lacking patience when others are not considerate of our time?
Y'all, our children will never walk the walk unless they see us do it first. We can say all the pretty words in the world, but it's not the words that matter. It's the action.
How about this for some conviction at 5:07 am this morning:
27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Matthew 23:27-28
Yes, I realize we are not Pharisees. But, we are teachers to many around us. Our children. Our peers. Our co-workers. If you are a disciple of Christ, you are a teacher to those around you. We teach by our actions.
Sometimes, we are so caught up with our kids being surrounded by the right influences. In the right youth group. In a good Sunday school class, etc. Those things are good, but what are they getting at home? Our influence is MUCH greater than we think.
We can drop our kids off at every youth group in the county, but nothing will be of greater influence than what we show them at home. When no one is looking. When we are not surrounded by our church friends.
Who are we when no one is looking?
Our children are always looking. Watching. Waiting to see how we will react. What we will say. What we will do.
Can we really expect more of our children if we are not showing our children more?
We won't always get this right. We will mess up. A lot.
But, how do we handle these mess-ups? Are we humble enough to admit we were wrong and need forgiveness?
Gosh, Jesus knows how to get to this momma's heart. He doesn't want a bunch of white washed tombs walking around, filthy on the inside. He wants our insides pure. The part that matters the most.
Let's walk the walk, parents. Our children will eventually follow.
walk over talk,