When I walk through my front door, I’m free!!! Yes, I’m FREEEEE!!!!!!! I get to be myself, say what I want, and in the tone I want. By the time I walk in the door at the end of the day, I feel like I have used up my last smile. I walk in the door and mutter a “hi,” with almost nonexistent energy. I plop down on the couch and sit comatose for a little while. Yes! I get to be the other me, the ‘inside the house’ me. God has been revealing to me that when someone asks me a question, sometimes I don’t think about the tone of my voice. My tone can be sweet and thoughtful one minute, and like a freshly cut piece of wood the next. Sometimes I can be short; dismissive even. Ooo that hurts. I didn’t know I was like that!
At home, I can express my opinion whenever I want to. (Unfortunately, I exercise this ‘right’ to the max!) Horrible, isn’t it??? Or even better, I feel that it’s my duty as a mother to correct everything people in our home do that isn’t to my liking. I consider it ‘sharing wisdom.’ I know you may rightfully call it meddling or being a ‘know-it-all’! (LOL)
I’ve driven my family to the limits of their patience by insisting that they try some new recipe that I’ve conjured up, even though they repeatedly say they’d rather not eat it. And if you live with me, you will certainly suffer through my brand of humor, when inside you will probably be thinking, “Okay, that was a little over the top.”
Still, I’m at home, so isn’t this the one place where I can finally ‘be myself’?
As long as I continue to believe that home is the place where I get to give an ongoing, ‘spur of the moment’ commentary on everything that I see on t.v. or voice my opinion about whatever comes to mind, then I am holding my family hostage with my lack of discretion, my choice to not use self-control over my mouth.
Secondly, if I care about how I treat strangers, acquaintances, and friends, surely I should care more about how I treat my own family. They deserve my best behavior, not my ‘left-over’ goodness. They could do with a few more sweet responses and less sentences bullet-holed with interruptions. And I am certain that they would appreciate one or two evenings without my brand of humor (okay, I’ll finally admit that sometimes when I’m tired, my jokes are really not well thought out.)
Between you and me, I’m sure that my grown children would breathe a sigh of relief if I no longer gave them unsolicited advice about how to live their lives, and instead trusted that God would give them wisdom. In other words, I think that my family would love living with me a little more, if I treated them the way that I treat those who are not as dear.
Yes, God gave me freedom. When Jesus died to set me free, by paying the price for my sins on Calvary, He opened the door for me to be myself. No, not the old rusty, dusty me, but the new and improved me. Yes, Christ set me free to be the best that I can be.
Years ago, when my son was a teenager, I was getting ready to holler at him about something he had done. God said quietly to me, “Do I yell and fuss at you? Then, don’t yell and fuss at him.” That stopped my yelling and fussing.
I understood right then and there that God wanted me to act more like Him. Case closed.
And so, I am determined.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you my plan for surprising my family. I can’t wait! But until then, I’ll be working on how to be a kinder, gentler me. I hope that you can find ways to speak life into your family’s and friends’ lives as well. May you live your life with excellence. It’s one way to enjoy the journey!
Question for today – How can you improve the way you treat those closest to you; your family, friends, and co-workers, as well as brothers and sisters in Christ, etc.?
Scriptures that apply to today’s post are:
Proverbs 17:9 Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Colossians 3:12-14 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
© 2009 God’s Perspective Publishing
This post has been republished from the archives in case you missed it.
You don’t want to miss Part 3 of Excellence in Living!