So today I am thoroughly annoyed with a friend. So annoyed that I really don't think I care to be much of a friend with her anymore. Cordial and friendly, socially cheerful and chatty, but not friends.
How's that for fine Christian grace and compassion? (Well, to be honest, cordial, friendly, socially cheerful and chatty is all we really are anyway. I'm just saying I'm ready to be sure we're never more than that. I'm ready to harbor secret dislike and disrespect behind my friendly smile.)
My real issue is that her issues are getting in the way of my agenda. I want to say to her, Put your big girl pants on already! It's not all about you, if you haven't noticed! And if you would for just one minute quit thinking so much about your tender wittle baby girl self, you'd realize that!
In a little while, one hour to be exact, I'm going to be taking my youngest to a home school meeting where I'll have little to do but chat with other moms while I wait for the meeting to be over. Oh, the thought of venting my frustrations to another mom who would understand my position! Nothing like some good old gossip to clear the brain, to cleanse the soul. Okay, well yes, it would actually dirty my soul, but be a fun catharsis nevertheless.
Well, of course, the Bible in the bathroom this morning opened its very self to James 3, which jumped off the page and did a dance right there in front of the toilet. Such a spectacle was hard to ignore. So I will not be venting to the other moms this afternoon. I did vent to my husband last night though. Do you think that counts? Isn't that a little like talking to yourself? (Sometimes it is exactly like talking to myself…)
I do not hold out much hope that this gal will be putting on big girl pants any time soon, but I will put mine on and keep my fat mouth shut. That is a good start. In the end, the big girl pants will stay on better if I wrap my mind around extending some grace and not harboring that secret dislike and disrespect.
Yeah, yeah, yeah – one thing at a time.
Controlling the Tongue
1 Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can't draw fresh water from a salty spring.
True Wisdom Comes from God
13 If you are wise and understand God's ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don't cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.