Lessons from the Road Rage Files
The other day one of my children came to me and said, “Mama? Sometimes when someone isn’t nice to me, I just want to think mean thoughts about them. I try not to think mean thoughts but it’s hard because I’m mad. I know I shouldn’t, but what can I do?”
Not so ironically, I happened to be a little grumpy with someone that very day and had the same struggle. The Lord had dealt gently with me just in time to share what I had learned. So I told the story…
“Well, sweetheart, I actually had a hard time with this today too. When I was running errands, someone made a very bad choice while driving and almost crashed into us. I was very mad and did not think nice thoughts about them at first. It made me feel angry and mad, but God reminded me that He doesn’t want me to walk around grumpy. He reminded me that He wants me to…
not repay evil for evil, but on the contrary, repay evil with blessing. – 1 Peter 3:9
Through gritted teeth, I prayed that, “he would become a wise man who follows after God. I prayed that he would be a faithful and loving husband and a father who leads his family with courage and strength. I prayed that he would be a man of integrity at his job and bring honor to God with his words and actions.”
By the time I was done praying, I saw that man differently. I really DID want those things for him. And my anger? Gone.”
We had a great little conversation and they really seemed to get it. (Side note: Can I just say that having older kids is SO fun…it’s amazing to see the lights go on, to see them claiming truth for their own.)
Tempation Must Always be Replaced With Vision
When we try to stop doing something bad, we need to fill it with something good. Otherwise, it’s like telling someone on a cliff “don’t look down, don’t look down, don’t look down.”
What are they going to do? Look down.
Our flesh is like slime waiting to fill every empty nook and cranny. To turn from evil without doing good is like running from a bully by going into a dark alley. It’s not gonna end well. We need to run to our Father’s arms.
“turn from evil AND do good, seek peace AND pursue it” 1 Peter 3:10
I want to instill in them vision for what they SHOULD be doing instead of fear of what they SHOULDN’T be doing.
My prayer isn’t that my kids will run away from bad things. My prayer is that they will to run to Jesus so fully that everything else pales in comparison.
The first step in making that a reality in their lives is to make it a reality in my own. So today, I choose (by the grace of God) to do my best to show them how to live a contrary life…especially around bad drivers.
Will you take the “Contrary Challenge” today? When (if) you have negative thought about someone today, choose to pray a prayer of blessing instead. Pray for their health, relationship with God, family, integrity and anything else you can think of.
Tell us in the comments if you’re joining us today and let’s all pray for one another!Leave a Comment