A good man brings good things
out of the good stored up in his heart,
and an evil man brings evil things
out of the evil stored up in his heart.
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
A verse that haunts my thoughts lately.
As I teach my children to be kind, I am often reminded that I am not kind. As I teach my children to be patient, I find that I too am impatient. As I teach my children to be selfless, I realize that I am the most selfish. As I teach my children to love, I think about all the times that I've been unloving.
I met a woman the other day. She is the mom of a little boy that is in Caleb's class at preschool. She was kind, soft spoken and seemed to have a grasp on loving well. I envied her. I desired to see that in myself. That kind of change is hard.
I use the excuse that, I am the way I am, God made me this way, it's human nature or it's my personality. That is just flat out spiritual laziness in my opinion. I am spiritually lazy, you can add that to my long list of personality flaws.
The verse in Romans could be my life verse...
I do not understand what I do, for what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do! Romans 7:15
Too many times I'm reminded in scripture to be transformed, renewed, repentant. More times than that I fail to do these things. I'm just going to be very honest here. I don't love the poor, even at Christmas when it's cool to love the poor, I don't. I get annoyed if I have to go out of my way to help someone, and if I do go out of the way I have to make sure they know it. I'm impatient when things don't go my way or my plans get changed. I want things now, not later. When I'm doing something and don't want to be bothered, I use unkind words with my children. When my kids don't do things my way, I get angry. When my husband does something or thinks differently than I do, I pout. When someone is in need, I am the last person that wants to help. I am quick to get angry, yet sometimes slow to forgive.
Let me tell you what I am great at doing...I am great at pointing out where everyone else fails.
I don't want to use excuses anymore. There are too many scriptures to lend towards the change in our hearts. I want to ignore these verses and give a blind eye to the fact that I need to change and that I can change. Because, like I said, I am spiritually lazy. I don't want to be bothered. Am I missing out on the abundant life the Christ has promised me because I'm too stubborn to think I can change?
Create in me a clean heart and renew and right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vein conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing out their opinions. Proverbs 18:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is. His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
I know that this is so much harder said than done. It's not something that's going to happen overnight and it certainly won't be a road without fault. But if I'm wanting to see a change around me then I must be willing to change myself. If I want to teach my kids to be humble, loving, kind, patient...I must, painstakingly, change the way I live. It's important, it's hard, it's beautiful and it's daunting. I must be the change that I want to see in my kids.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says. James 1:22
I leave you with a song that I love running to in the mornings (when I actually run). It's been an inspiration in the long journey of realizing that I need a change of heart. My favorite Lyric...
"Create in me a miracle, something real and something beautiful"