It's late. I'm late. Usually you've heard from me, but not today. Today was hard. But good. Heart rending. Freeing. As someone who didn't know or own personal preferences a few years ago, I've come a long way. God continues to free this heart and mind from the approval of others and tie it to His goodness and righteousness. How grateful I am to serve a Master who accepts the sacrifice of praise in the place of labor, piety or deprecation!
Most recently I was convicted that pride was marring my relationships with others in three distinct areas: 1) Interrupting, 2) Tardiness, 3) Public eating habits. Laugh if you must, but I am writing to tell you that God cares! And He is helping me. God has been feeding me apples of gold in settings of silver.
As I read about Jesus' time in the temple after Palm Sunday, the groups of people that challenged and tested Him rolled, one after another after another. Have you noticed that Jesus never interrupted? Not only did He think He knew what they were going to say. He knew. He knew what they would say. He knew what was in their hearts. He knew the entire plan, play by play. And never, not once, is Jesus quoted as interrupting His adversaries or those who came for help or His stumbling disciples. He listened. Full stop.
If God desires me to be Christ-like (Romans 8:29), then He is calling me, by grace, to listen--and He will help, because it's His will and desire according to His Word. The downside is, trying to apply truth in one area often leads to manifestations of self in another--like the blurty burst of babble that spewed with intensity after I'd waited sooo long and tried soooo hard not to interrupt! Oops. Humanity spill.
Today, after reading about Jesus before Caiaphas and the elders, I was struck by the phrase, "But Jesus kept silent" (Matthew 26). And wouldn't you know it was the day I would give a deposition for the first time. How good God is. I went into my day realizing that 1) Interrupting is loving myself more than someone else and 2) Being silent is a means of trusting God with the outcome.
In the end, what was said, not said, implied or otherwise stated is immaterial. God is actually capable of taking care of things without my words. Now there's a thought that should last a while.... with practice.
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver...." Proverbs 25:11
Now, on to tardiness.