Advent Day Twenty-five, December 21 - Jimmy lost his temper
“For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son. Anyone who believes in Him will not die spiritually, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
One thing I’ve learned by doing a daily journal through both Lent and Advent is that I tend to hold myself more accountable than I ever have before. This year was my first Lent daily journal and is my second Advent to do this and I am finding out all manner of disturbing little things about myself. Today I had to ask forgiveness for a recent episode of temper I had. As a small boy and into my teen years, I had a ferocious temper and would lash out in word and fist if rubbed the wrong way. And it didn’t take a lot of rubbing.
In my day, there was no such thing as a ‘time out’ and my parents would sentence me to hard labor in the yard or the garden for my outbursts, or for more vocal responses, I lived with a bar of soap hanging from my mouth. Eventually, through their love, patience and not giving up on me, I began to change for the good. Plus, growing up spiritually helped me, too, because I learned that God wanted us to turn that cheek and go that second mile if it meant my Christian witness would not be harmed. And….I did some harm for a number of years.
Anyway, a few days ago I lost my temper and it wasn’t as much what I said, but how I said it and what I did. (Now aren’t you all wondering?) As per my history, I didn’t give any thought to how this other person was affected; until it was pointed out to me this morning….I denied it….for awhile….then, finally, knew I had to apologize. And I have always hated to apologize. Hated it. But, today, I knew I had to and before I ate lunch, I manned up and made the call. It went well… very well… and I felt the burden lifted from my spirit. And I felt loved again. All warm and fuzzy for doing the right thing.
God loved us and sent His Son. As bad a person as I can be. And, maybe you can be. He still loves us enough to send His Son to be born as a baby in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago so that I, Jimmy, can have the hope of being a better person and living with Jesus forever. I. Do. Not. Deserve. It. Not then…not now…not in the future. But, it wasn’t up to me. God loved me and this whole world. And, just as the wise men may have asked themselves at that birth, I still wonder at times, “What can I give Him?” And in the words of my favorite, but rarely sung, Christmas song from a few days back…..”I can give Him my heart.” And I do. Are you preparing your heart for Christ? Do you need to clear the air with God, or someone else? He’s waiting.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!