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Self Control

Part I - Post written a month ago.

I hadn't seen my oldest son for a few weeks, so I was eager and excited to be with him last weekend. Even though I knew I wouldn't spend quality time with him since he would be playing volleyball and I would be in the stands, I anticipated the day for weeks. I couldn't even sleep the night before because I was so thrilled. It didn't matter how brief the time was; I was thankful for the opportunity.

Amid our cheers during each set, we noticed the opposing team's fans' jeers. More specifically, racial slurs towards our team. It was disturbing, to say the least, to listen to. I tried my best to ignore the rants until I heard comments spoken directly to my son. I didn't even think twice or hesitate. I just piped up and told the person to shut up! I'm unsure what came over me, but I couldn't sit there and take it. I demanded the student to shut up and watch the game. He heard me and turned around and responded, which made me retort. The young man may not have seen it, but my eyes sent daggers his way. I'm not going to lie, but I was shocked by my own reaction. My other two kids were focused on the game, so thankfully, they were not engaged in my disgraceful outburst. Thank God.

The game ended, and my blood was still boiling. It was unacceptable to speak hostility towards my child. How dare he? Who does he think he is?

And then God piped up very loudly and clearly and answered me, "He is my son."

I remained silent for the two and half hour ride home. No words, just a red beat face. I was dismayed and ashamed at the same time.

Instead of conversing with God, I remained silent. I sat back and listened to what He had to say. He reminded me of the Fruits of the Spirit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ~Galatians 5:22-23

It is evident that my self-control was lacking and required significant improvement. The Holy Spirit gave me tips on how to have better control.

  1. Try to see the other person/problem like God would.

  2. Ask God what He would do in that situation.

  3. Ask yourself, "Would I speak/act the same way if someone I highly respect was in the room and observed my speech/actions?"

We might answer #3 by saying that we did it or said it out of love, but I beg to differ. If we really seek the intent, we may find the answer to be associated with pride, insecurity, and fear. And I think that's why the Holy Spirit pointed out #1 first because it's less about us and more about the other person.

This lesson still weighs heavy on me a month later as I have experienced the other end of someone's lack of control. It's still painful to walk through, but it makes me more considerate and conscientious of my words and actions.

Part II coming soon.

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