Anger welled up within me like a volcano ready to erupt. Except this time I didn’t completely contain it. Harsh words spewed from my mouth, and the only relief from the struggle inside me came when Alyssa grinned at me and said, “Drew’s in twubble.”
That says something when your 2-year-old no longer gets scared when Mommy raises her voice. Instead she finds it entertaining.
As promised in my last post, I wasn’t about to proclaim that I had self-control in the bag. And Sunday afternoon proved it.
Reflecting on what went wrong – why I was able to control myself so well one day and lose control another – I started considering the verse I shared in my last post:
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5
The day I kept control, what was my mind focused on? First, I made an intentional decision to honor God in my words. Second, I made an intentional decision to demonstrate to Drew self-control in the midst of provocation. Third, I ultimately had Drew’s spiritual needs at the forefront of my mind. I had to set a good example in self-control if I ever expected him to grasp it.
The day I lost control, what was my mind focused on? First, I wasn’t feeling well and Matt wasn’t home to help me with the kids. Second, I had a list of things I felt like I needed to get done on that Sunday afternoon (plant my fall garden, catch up on laundry, cut and freeze okra from the garden, get a report ready for church that night, relax and watch football). Nowhere in my mind was honoring God or being a good example to Drew. I was in Martha-mode and I had to get my to-do list completed before I could even consider anyone else’s needs.
That is a mind set on the things of the flesh.
And THAT is why I failed that day.
Did you notice that none of the things I listed are bad? When I think of flesh I immediately think of sin, but perhaps this isn’t always the case. The flesh can be otherwise good things that get in the way of Spirit-things.
This verse in Romans 8 is my new memory verse. I must ingrain it in my mind so that God may speak it to my heart when I’m tempted to put the things of the flesh in front of the things of the Spirit.
And being a Martha (or choleric, or Type-A…whatever you want to call me), this will be quite the challenge. But my hope is found just a few verses down in Romans 8:11: “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
Just like last week, I can’t speak for my future. I may not be victorious in every instance from here forward. But I can work on today.
By the way, Drew just woke up and my to-do list is quite long this morning. Time to practice. 🙂