Although Proverbs warns against nagging wives (which I discuss here), I’d swear that Wisdom is a nag.
Because I keep reading the same thing again and again in Proverbs. Sort of like a dripping faucet.
It’s starting to annoy me.
But it’s convicting me at the same time… Yet once more, I am reminded that:
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18 (NIV)
I don’t know if my hot-temperedness stirs up any conflicts directly.
I remember that occasionally fights would break out in the hallways when I was in junior high (now middle) school. Some kids would rush in to get a look and cheer one or other of the parties on. Some kids (like me) were grossed out and/or scared and backed away from the circling crowd. And some kids jumped into the fray until there was a Medusa-like pile of swinging arms and punches.
That is my idea of hot-temperedness stirring up conflict.
But in my home, I think there’s another way it happens. When a parent is on edge (ah, that would be me), it sets everyone on edge, and there’s a greater chance that conflicts will break out amongst the other family parties (like kids).
I have a hunch that if I grew in patience, there’d be an overall decrease in quarrels in our home.
I don’t know. I could be wrong.
But maybe it’s worth a try.
As I typed those very words, I sighed. It just seems overwhelming for me to try and reign in my raw reactions and increase my forbearance.
That’s where I am encouraged my the best book on prayer I’ve ever read (which I discuss here). It’s embarrassing that after these many years being a Christian and pretty much hearing it all, I am for the first time “hearing” how much I need to go to God with a childlike request for “help,” that He likes the fact that I ask. He tells me to do so… alot.
In fact, any other stance (than that I need God for everything and must therefore ask) shows both arrogance and “functional deism” on my part (got that last phrase from the book’s author – nifty, huh?).
So when I hear:
- “Help me, Momma. Help me tie my shoes.”
- “Help me, Momma. My sheets and covers are all tangled. Can you straighten them out for me?” (I still hear this).
- “Help me, Momma. I don’t get this math problem.” (Still get this request, too).
How do I respond? Of course I help my children (though sometimes I’m a bit slower to react than they would like).
So how will God respond when I say, “Lord. Help me ditch the hot-temper and embrace patience?”
Of course God will help me (though sometimes He’s a bit slower to react than I – or my family members – would like).
Oh, and did I mention – besides God’s slow response – I’m not too thrilled that He often uses difficult circumstances to drive the lessons home?
But He DOES respond!
Amen for that.
Today’s Readings: 1 Samuel 10:1-11:15 , Psalm 55:15-23, Proverbs 15:18-20, Luke 22:24-46. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).