9 seconds can change everything

There are days I struggle with thinking right thoughts about others. Even with all the growth that I’ve experienced and the grace that God pours out on me, I have found myself unable to stop mentally berating a co worker, or chastising a hurting friend with thoughts of how they could do things differently.

While the words I spoke out were as encouraging as possible, the thoughts still lingered behind the scenes.

Please know that these thoughts aren’t what most people would consider horrible. It’s things like “well bless his heart, if only he could see that what he did last night is why he is feeling so bad today” or “if only she could see her part in this, she would understand why her life is in chaos”… But in this latest season of my journey I have been praying that God remove even the smallest character defect. I want His heart. His thoughts towards people. His Grace in ALL things. Even the smallest, tiniest negative, controlling thought.

 In asking God for this, a few months ago I found myself thinking those thoughts once again with a friend. Feeling her pain yet frustrated at her actions which I promptly began thinking of things she should be doing.  

Having just finished an encouraging text message to her, trying to lift her up, I found myself allowing my thoughts free reign as I discussed with a family member my personal thoughts on the situation. 

 Unbeknownst to me, somehow my phone started recording the conversation and for 9 seconds, captured forever, the lack of patience and understanding spilling from my lips. And before I knew it, my friend received the text message with the recording.

 I immediately called her to apologize and to explain the context of what was said and while at the time she hadn’t even listened to the recording yet, and even once she did, she was filled with grace as she always is and our friendship remains strong by the grace of God. 

 Having that happen and having to experience the pain of knowing that even the smallest thought could potentially ruin a relationship, I was reminded that God disciplines His children. I asked Him for His help and He gave it to me by reprimanding me.  A friend of mine says “you were spanked by God” and she was so right. And I am forever grateful.

Today I try to hold onto that lesson and any time I begin to even think like that, about anyone I ask myself, if 9 seconds of these thoughts were recorded and given out, how would that affect the person and would God be pleased?

Praising Him that He loves me enough to take away ALL things that can detract from my purpose He has for me. Praying that I continue to see His discipline as loving guidance and continue to strive to be the person He is calling me to be.

Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

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