There are things that tempt us to change our minds. We’ve decided to take a certain approach – hopefully, with prayer and after giving ourselves the quiet and time to hear what God the Holy Spirit is teaching us, how He’s pointing to Jesus Christ in our situations; then something tells us we should flip a table. We should go wherever emotion is inviting us and throw caution to the wind. Sin. Sin is doing that. Sin has desires (Genesis 4:7), so it exists as an entity or spirit, like a beast – independent of your behavior, though sin would love to influence your actions.
I read the Bible and talk with Hubby, and we decide that we’re not going to talk about situations involving the kids IN FRONT OF the kids, for instance. Duh! right? But then…you come down from flat-ironing or wand curling your hair and putting on something flattering…to hear your husband saying something like, “Stop that crying! I don’t want to start the day like this!” And you find your oldest crouched and uncombed, crying. Ugh! And the first thing she says to you, as the smile melts off your face and out of your heart is, “I don’t want to do gymnastics anymore! One of my coaches is mean!”
You’ve been planning a great day of rest and rejuvenation for you and for the family as a whole – according to your strengths/the way your brain is wired, of course: Maybe that means breakfast and movie-watching and a baseball game for dessert. Maybe that looks like a bike ride and a hike followed by a friendly pickleball match at the nearby park (in the tennis courts that don’t have the pickleball markings…yet).
Either way, you start to feel like the day is going down the drain, and sin tempts you: Lose your temper! Or, Give up now! Both of those options appeal to our corrupted bodies and emotion-driven souls. But we are located in new spiritual places, in Christ. We live from Him. We have God the Holy Spirit living in us and teaching us and reminding us of what we know about the Son of God. Instead of either one of those options set forth by sin, we can choose the option set forth according to our identity. Child of God, you can just ask to see Jesus Christ in whatever role you’re playing right then: Parent, Friend, Employee, Sibling, Neighbor, even Stranger. You can ask to see Him in whatever situation you’re in.
God is IN us, and we live from Him. We can put aside our scraps of remembered self-help advice and our emotional reactions and the advice of the devil…for the wisdom of Jesus Christ, who has been made unto us, Wisdom from God (I Corinthians 1:30).
When I decided to stop talking about a broken friendship, to stop talking about how the shards of that broken relationship are still cutting me unexpectedly, the devil gave me more fuel, trying to set me on fire again. And I was tempted to pick up that snake by the tail again and just say one more thing about it, the last thing…
But I waited a second to hear what God in me was saying TO me…and it wasn’t: Gossip! It wasn’t, Let it be known how you have been wronged! It wasn’t, Figure out, by talking it into the ground, WHO ELSE is wrong in this situation and how ELSE you’re being mistreated!
God told me to let that snake pass by, untouched and, Be silent.
I had to get off the train, even if people around me wanted to keep riding it. Because, picking that pain back up would be like trying to press a baby tooth back into the gum.