“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
I typed that from memory! This past week as I focused on this verse, I found that the more I thought about it the more easily applied it was. And, the more I thought about it, the less intentional I had to be in thinking about it. By the end of the week I was thinking about it before I even got out of bed in the morning. Joshus 1:8 says, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” I have always thought to myself, ‘I have millions of things on my mind at once, how can it be I can meditate on the word full-time while also remembering piano lessons, scheduling girl scout events, what I’m going to make for dinner, how I need to prepare for our upcoming visit with family, making time to clean the house, my grocery list, who I am carpooling with this week, whose Birthday cards need to be mailed, how I can be creative in motivating my pre-adolescent to stay current with her math and writing, blah blah blah….’ ( a thrilling glimpse into my deep thoughts) What I found is that after I intentionally meditated and applied the word for a few days, it became like a background thought for me in everything I did, and so it was applied to everything I did.
Did I mess up? Don’t be shocked…yes…there was one morning in particular this week I woke up to the lovely sound of sibling arguments at 6:45 am. Who has the energy to fight at that time of day??? I mean, Mama had not even had her coffee…so, I was pretty harsh with the kiddos. Did it stir up anger? Not quite, but the harsh words stirred up some pretty deflated looking faces because their little hearts are still sweet and soft. The sadness on their faces after I reacted in an angry tone is something that will easily translate into hardened hearts and anger later on in their lives if that is my consistent reaction. Even though there were a couple relapses into letting anger rule my reaction, I was greatly encouraged to see the results of gentle answers in behavior and response, especially in a few discipline conversations I had with my oldest in dealing with her attitude and responsibilities over the summer. I also had a lot less mommy-guilt at the end of the day. So, overall it was a great success. That is how powerful the word of God is. Even though we aren’t perfect in the implementation, God will still show us big results if we put forth the effort. And, we will be prosperous and successful in God’s eyes. Maybe not the worldly results we want sometimes, but it is the kind of success that lasts forever.
This next week I am putting up a double verse challenge. My personal verse is an encouragement verse. Next week is Vacation Bible School, and that can just be an exhausting week. It is such an awesome opportunity, though, to speak the word of God into young hearts and work alongside some wonderful laborers. Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The second verse is the actual theme verse of VBS, Romans 10:17, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”
This will be a lot more challenging, but I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of it!