Most of us who love the Lord want to make a great contribution for the kingdom of God. However, I’ve come to realize that sometimes it’s the little things we do that make a big impact for Him. Especially when we do that little thing daily. It adds up to something wonderful.
During my morning devotion time I try to remember to ask the Lord what He wants me to do for Him that day. Many times I hear Him say, “Serve your family well.” I pondered on what serving them well looks like. I thought I should probably watch my attitude and make sure I do all I do for my family with love and joy.
Mornings are always busy around my house. I make sure those who can dress themselves get dressed, make their beds and do their morning chores. While they do their chores I start the laundry. I dress my little guy. Then I get all of them to the breakfast table. Of course I can’t forget to feed and dress myself. If it’s a school day I prepare for the mornings lessons. Saturday is our cleaning day. So that morning I figure out who should clean what. I’ve found that if the mornings get started well the rest of the day usually flows well too.
One Saturday morning I was trying to go about the morning and little things kept happening that demanded my attention. I don’t remember what was going on exactly but I remember how irritated I was getting, mainly with the kids. My husband was there but was playing a song on the piano. Within that short span of the song I felt myself get very upset at all the little things going on. It was to much for me in a short period of time. I was tempted to be angry with my husband but I knew it wasn’t his fault and it would do us no good for me to be angry with him. The little squabbles and rebellion of the children were resolved quickly but I couldn’t shake feeling agitated. It took extra effort on my part to be sweet to my husband and pretend I was alright. I went back to do some laundry but my husband knows me well enough to know when everything is not alright. After a little while he came back to me and kindly asked me to relax because the way I was being made him feel like he had to walk on eggshells. When he left the laundry room I heard the Lord say that the anger I was holding on to was not serving my family well. My heart softened and I relaxed. Those words continued to ring in my heart through the days ahead.
Most of the time I’m the type of person who can go with the flow pretty easily. Growing up and through my 20’s I rarely got angry. Then I started having kids and found myself getting angry with them. It was strange because I never really had to deal with anger before. The Lord has been walking me through it and showing me to pay attention to my warning signals that I’m starting to get angry so I can deal with it before I erupt. However there are still those days…those days I yell at my kids then cry because I feel like such a terrible mom for doing so. I don’t do more then holler. I know when to walk away, but yelling on it’s own is hard enough for this household that is normally very joyful and peaceful.
The Lord has shown me at those times, when I fail to serve my family well because I let my anger get the best of me, I need to run to Him. My instincts are to run away from the Lord and hide. Then beat myself up. Instead, I need to run to the Lord and have Him help me. Beating myself up does nothing good for me and it’s not God’s voice telling me those negative things about myself. The Lord knows we fail. He still loves us and He’s holding His arms open wide to forgive us and turn things around for good. I have to say through these times I’ve learned how to ask forgiveness from my kids. To be real in front of them and not pretend I always have it together. I’ve learned to humble myself and let other people step in to help me if I need it. These things bring God glory even when we’ve messed up.
Anger is not a sin. It’s our heart motive when we’re angry and what we do with our anger that makes us sin. Jesus was angry but he never sinned. His was a righteous anger. Man’s anger usually is not righteous. I studied the difference between God’s anger and man’s anger. Despite the many times the Israelites stirred the Lord to anger, our God is not an angry God. He is a loving God. It is because of that love He can not allow His children to walk in disobedience or rebellion. When we choose to go our own way we should expect discipline. The bible says many times that the Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love. (Joel 2:13, Ps. 145:8, Ps. 103:8, Ex. 34:6, Num. 14:18, Ps. 86:15)
My prayer is that the Lord will show me when my anger is righteous and when it is not and that I will be a woman who is slow to anger and abounding in love, just like my Father.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20 (NIV)
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8 (NIV)