I was SO upset. Words flew from my unguarded tongue like poisonous arrows from a bow. Was I justified? Yes! Was I being taken advantage of? Yes. Did my manner of handling this problem exemplify the Lord? No. And neither did it magnify His Name.
I left the mechanic with a dirty heart. I was very glad I had been assertive and stood my ground about the wrong-doing — we are not called to be doormats. But we are called to be like Jesus. Jesus experienced righteous anger, but there was nothing that felt righteous about my anger.
My heart raced as I relived the heated exchange over and over in my mind. How could I lose control like that? I’m not usually aggressive in my behavior. I’m learning to be assertive — and that’s a good thing — but assertive and aggressive are two different animals.
I knew I blew it and it was sortof, kindof done in Jesus’ Name because, like it or not, I should have been representing Him while I stood there dumbfounded in the parking lot of the mechanic’s garage.
Shame clothed me in a dark shroud.
It took me most of the evening, but I finally settled down, though I still felt troubled in my spirit. I earnestly sought the Lord about how I could make restitution for my lack of grace, but at least my heart stopped racing and words stopped spewing from my mouth.
Unless I thought too hard about the incident.
Then it bubbled up again.
That night I climbed into bed exhausted from the emotional trauma of the day. I snuggled beneath the blanket on this cold night, reached over to my devotional, and opened it to that evening’s scripture reading. Let’s just say I began to cry because it confirmed my conviction and allowed me the opportunity for the love of Jesus to wash me clean.
“Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.
“Who can understand his error? Cleanse me from secret faults. ~ [Look] carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled. ~ You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
“He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ. ~ The tongue, is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so wet among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. ~ Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt.
Song of Sol. 2:15; Ps. 19:12; Heb. 12:15; Gal. 5:7; Phil. 1:6,27; James 3:5-6, 8; Col. 4:6
Daily Light for Every Day with Anne Graham Lotz
Tears washed my face as Jesus washed my heart. Gratitude swept over me — gratitude for a gracious Savior who knows me and loves me in spite of me. The Lord held me in a warm embrace and quieted me with His love.
I was reminded that I am not responsible for the mechanic’s behavior — I am responsible for my own, so tomorrow I am going to choose the high road: cookies for the garage workers and a note to the mechanic that disappointed me so much.
Because I asked myself, “What would Jesus do when He was mistreated?”
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