By Michelle Welch
“An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.”
Proverbs 18:1 (NIV)
I have been reading through the Proverbs again. One chapter a day for thirty one days. If I miss a day, I don’t go back. I just go to the chapter that corresponds with the date. Because the book of Proverbs is not a story that requires reading the beginning, the middle, and the end, there is no check list to make me feel guilty if I miss a day. King Solomon seemed to be parenting a typical child who required the same thing being said over and over again—and then again for good measure.
The above verse tweaked my heart this morning but became powerful later in the day. Sweetheart and I have two of our grandchildren for a couple of weeks. A local craft store had an advertisement about a class that was perfect for their homeschooling summer needs so we loaded up the kids and headed for the store.
Upon arrival, we realized that MANY other moms had the same idea. The store made the mistake of not stating the required class pre-registration in the original advertisement. Another advertisement failed to announce the classes had filled up.
Needless to say, there were many unhappy moms, along with equally unhappy kids. One woman became loud and hurtful in her verbal attack on the poor woman who was running the craft event. It rapidly became an ugly situation for all involved. Her embarrassed children looked like they wanted the floor to open up and swallow them!
As moms and kids scattered to get out of the way of this woman, her wrath, and her sad children, it occurred to me how many times in the past I had been this woman. I thought of those same looks on the faces of my children when I demanded exception to the rules for my family based on who I thought I was or what rank my husband wore on his uniform. Now, seeing myself in the actions of this woman, I realized how this verse applied to my life. How many times had major meltdowns started out of my selfish desire to have things my way?
Life happens, classes fill up, events are sold out, moms make mistakes and come unglued in front of others. But tomorrow is another day and God’s grace is waiting.
I explained to my grandchildren that we needed to pray for this mom and whatever caused her stress. I pointed out the importance of choosing not to take out our frustration on others. I reminded them that we are to be Christ-like in our actions, ever mindful that their only view of Christ may be through us.
I realized that our day of “crafting” had not been a failure after all. I had opportunity to teach my grandchildren about giving grace to those who seem unfriendly and how God expects us to love those whose actions are hurtful.
Dearest Father God, my Abba, I am humbled by Your constant concern for my well being. These verses from a wise and considerate king to his son have taken on so much more depth and meaning. Thank You for leaving me an instruction book on how to behave, how to raise my children, how to affect the next generation. Your precepts are more than enough to carry me through. I pray for continued wisdom and understanding as I daily seek Your words. Bring me to a place of increased understanding for every situation. In the Name of Christ Jesus, Amen.
© Michelle Welch, team member of Breath Of Life Women’s Ministries
photography by Michelle Welch, all rights reserved
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