I specifically took note of this because when I talk, people interrupt.
Instead of pouting as was my habit, I asked God, "Why?" And I started listening for an answer.
The Spirit has caused me to hear myself with new ears. I don’t mean to understand the words I say, but to hear: the tone of my voice, my attitude, my biased opinion. I sound Snide; Argumentative; Plaintive; Whiney; Caustic; Prideful; Judgmental.
In certain circumstances, I tend to let my passion have the upper hand, and my emotions end up coloring my declarations.
Must every parry and response be laced with sarcasm?
Do I really know as much as my arrogance infers?
Am I really as good as all that?
No wonder people don’t listen to me. I wouldn’t want to listen to me either.
On the other hand, when my friend T___ begins speaking, people stop, turn, and listen.
I started studying her.
Her voice is evenly moderated, controlled, with just a hint of the passion she has for the subject matter. She doesn’t chime in needlessly just to have a voice, either. When she speaks, it’s because she has something worth saying.
“He who restrains his words has knowledge,
And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.” NASB
“He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.” NKJV
None of us are perfect, but each of has shiny places. Mrs. E__ is my role model for compassion. Mr. B__ for conviction; Miss K__ for servanthood.
I’ve made T__ my role model for this particular character trait: Temperance.
I can’t control what happens to upset my schedule, or upset my attitude; but I can control my reaction to life’s upsets, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2Ch 16:19 NIV
I told T___ what I've just told you - that she's my character-trait role model for communicating with control. (Well, I told her some of it anyway. I'll probably send her a link to this post so she knows it all.)
She told me that she looks to me in the same way for my patience with people.
I’m the last person I’d ever pick as a role model for patience.
She said I am so nice, and cheerful, and I listen to people when they complain and spout off, when she’d like to…well, I’m sure she’d appreciate it if I don’t share what she said. :-)
I guess I haven’t given my patience a close look lately. I still get impatient, too, but I see now that I've been able to exercise considerable restraint, and exhibit the gift of patience.
I generally pray to see the where I’m stunted, and I’m not particularly on the lookout for new growth. It’s nice when I come across it like this, and to have the chance offer praise to God for answering my petitions for this fruit. I’ve been asking Him for a while now.
God is Good
All the time
And all the time
God is Good.
Thank you, Lord, for Your presence in my life, for Your guiding Spirit, for redemption and eternal life in Your Son Jesus, Who I strive to emulate. I praise Your Holy Name for Your ongoing work in my life, for making me into the child You know I can become. Amen