I think more than anything in the world people just want to feel valued by other people and they feel valued when they are spoken to with respect.
I am a stay-at-home Mom and I homeschool my girls which means I am with them a lot.
I know that God is using this time in my life to teach me better how to let Christ live His life of patience through me. It’s actually very good news that I can rely on God’s grace (His unmerited favor) which, when received, then produces His power in and through me in this area of patience.
If I am identifying with my old identity and depending on my own strength to be patient, it runs short quite often. Especially if it is near bedtime and the girls get dramatic about something that, in my opinion, doesn’t require drama. I’m tired, I want to be left alone to go to bed and now I’m suddenly pulled into their drama to be the referee.
But I have re-discovered a secret recently and it is found in Proverbs 15:1.
A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Speaking to people in love and with respect is key to having good relationships and guess what, Christian?…this is who we are in our new creation identity in Christ!
But when the drama starts and I don’t feel like dealing with it, I have seen over and over again, if I refuse to identify with my new creation identity in Christ the result is as follows:
I react with harsh words instead of responding from my new nature and it never solves anything because it just causes my girls to throw a wall up in defense.
Have you experienced this same thing happening in your relationships?
On the other hand, if I choose to identify with the new person I am in Christ which results in me responding with a calm, gentle answer and without the “I can’t believe you did that, what were you thinking” facial expression, things get solved relatively fast and the girls actually learn something in the process because their heart is open to listening.
As a person who used to have a pretty bad temper I think I can help those of you who may be saying or screaming right now, “I know this is the answer, but HOW CAN I GET THERE?”
Here’s my advice. Instead of thinking to yourself, I have to be more patient, may I suggest a new thought pattern for you? Think this way instead: I am patient because I live in union with Jesus and He is the perfectly patient One and as He is, so am I in this world! (see 1 John 4:17) All I have to do right now, even though I “feel” like blowing my cork, is rest in the patience of Jesus in me and allow my true identity in Him to shine through.
Take it from me. It’s so much easier than trying not to feel mad or trying to feel more patient.
After all, Jesus is perfectly patient and if you are a Christian, He lives in you! Not only that, when you received Jesus into your life, remember that you did so because you weren’t doing a very good job being in the driver’s seat so you decided to scoot over and let Him take over that spot.
All the power that you need is in you because Jesus is in you!! Rely on Him, for He’s perfectly peaceful and completely patient. I say we would be crazy to live any other way except in Him, by Him and through Him!
I’m so thankful that my relationship with my girls is getting better everyday as I learn to rely on Christ’s power in me to be a good mother who speaks to them in a tone filled with love and with respectful words. I believe you will thoroughly enjoy this new way of living and see the benefits in your relationships as well.
In Romans 7:24 Paul asked a question and then in the first part of verse 25 he answered it.
Romans 7:24-25a (NLT)
24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Notice that Paul did not ask what he could do that would deliver him, but Who could deliver him!
Let’s face it – living our lives through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ is the only sane way to live! I’m in. How about you?
UPDATE!! I originally wrote this blog post in 2013 and when I re-read it today (November/2019) in preparation to re-share it, I was reminded of just how much embracing my true identity in Jesus has changed my life!!! Do you remember the advice I gave above about living with a new thought pattern?…well, thanks to the help of the Holy Spirit, that’s how I’ve been living for 7.5 years now and oh my goodness, the changes in my life have come effortlessly by the Spirit’s power as I have continued living in this renewed, Christ-centered mindset!
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!