Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Are You Switched To?

It was after dinner. The worst time in my house. For some reason, all the kids feel that this is the perfect time to run around screaming. There are dishes and food everywhere. I'm hot and tired. We often have somewhere to be. And not enough time to get everything cleaned up and everyone presentable. Tonight was no different. My insides were all tight with tension and anger. So I did what almost every mother does in the face of difficult circumstances. I lost my temper. I shouted at the kids.

angry eyes
Thankfully, I realized that's not what I wanted to be doing. I sought out my husband and asked him why I get like this, and how could I stop it? He just looked at me and said, "Are you switched to evil?" I paused... He clarified, "Do you have your switch set to evil?" It was such an absurd thing to say, that I didn't even want to throw anything at him. :) It turned my sense of despair around and I made it through the after dinner rush with a little more control over myself.

But oh, how I longed for it to be that simple. "Hey, these are negative thoughts and attitudes. It looks like I'm switched to 'evil,' I should switch that to cheerful/joyful." Wouldn't that be great? I've been pondering it all evening. And I wonder why it can't be that simple.

In particular, I've been thinking about Galatians 5. Most people who have been around church and the Bible for any length of time are familiar with the last verses of this chapter- the fruit of the Spirit. (My kids even have a fun, stick-in-your-head all day song about the fruit of the Spirit.) And that's what I desire to be lived out in my life. What I've been struck by tonight is verse 1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery."

I have let myself be caught in this trap. I have become enslaved to my frustration and anger. Christ has set me free and given me freedom. Freedom to do what? Well, all those things that are listed as the fruit of the Spirit! "Against such things there is no law."(vs 23b) If I truly believe God, this passage means that I can let go of my sin and allow things like gentleness and patience pour out of me.

cheerful smile
So, I'm making the conscious choice to flip my switch. I'm choosing love instead of hate. I'm choosing joy instead of despair. I'm choosing patience instead of being set off. I'm choosing kindness instead of meanness. I'm choosing goodness instead of greediness. I'm choosing faithfulness instead of wishy-washy. I'm choosing gentleness instead of vanity. I'm choosing self-control instead of a life without restraint. I'm choosing life and godliness instead of death and destruction. I'm choosing virtuous instead of evil.

What are you switched to?

"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace." Romans 6:14


Tina said...

I always find myself having to consciously flip my "switch." Then I'm good for a while until I revert back.. then I do it all over again.

The path to God is never the easy one. It's so much easier to be angry and blame others (and the kids are a good target)! That's why it's always a struggle.

Bobbi said...

I like this...the switch thing...if only it were that easy, huh?
I noted the operative behavior, if you will, throughout your post is "choose". So few people realize that is truly a choice. Because of our God-given to choose...that we can change. After you did the pondering, you realized it was a choice. Good for you. I'm singing, "flip that switch" (to the tune of Crack that