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“She makes me so mad!” I told my husband.
I was fed up and ready to scream. This person had gone too far and I was so over it. They had said some things about me that weren’t true. I dismissed my husband as he tried to explain why they might be saying those things about me.
“I don’t care! I’m so over it!” I yelled.
The thoughts I had kept bottled up all week came pouring out like hot lava all over our bed that night. It was dark outside and equally dark in my heart.
“I’m done,” I said. And I meant it. “I’m done trying to be nice to them….”
The stressful heart
The hate and anger from my bitter heart erupted like a volcano and I melted from the tears pouring from my eyes. I hugged myself and refused to hold my husband’s hand as he tried to comfort me.
I had told everyone that I didn’t care what people said about me. Although I thought I could be cold and unfeeling, that night I was feeling all of the hurt from words spoken about me. Yes, this person had to learn to be kind – but I felt it was going to be my job to call them out on their ugliness.
In fact, I told myself, I would “tell it like it is” the next time we had an interaction. I fell asleep thinking of all of the hurtful (AND TRUE) things I could say. As I lay there I pictured all of the “truth” I could pour down on this person – only it was covered in hate, not love. I say “truth” but in reality, it was just major complaining.
God clearly had to work on my heart.
The truth of Scripture
And so the next morning (I literally mean, not even nine hours later) I opened my Bible to where I had been reading in Philippians the past few months. I was in chapter two and read these words:
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambush or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Phil. 2:3 (NKJV)
Ouch. Ouch. And, ouch. Then I read the next few verses and came across this one:
“Do all things without comparing and disrupting.” Phil. 2:14 (NKJV)
Major conviction. I felt the sting of guilt and the sin I had let unleash the previous night in my tantrum. The bitterness was still lingering in my heart. I confessed my sin and continued to read. The next chapter talks about the cure for selfishness and pride: humility.
The fruit of humility
Nothing prepares you better to change your heart than reading about Timothy and hearing the words: “he who will sincerely care for your state”(Phil. 3:20). I got the lesson that morning. And the next interaction with that person went much better. No I didn’t tell them the “truth” and I didn’t tell them “like it is”….but my heartfelt ok with this.
If I don’t like someone, I avoid them. I hate being fake and smiling at someone I know doesn’t like me or has wronged me. So I avoid them. But in my pride I let bitterness grow like a weed and refuse to let God work in my life to produce the fruit of humility.
Peter says: “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” I Peter 5:5 (NKJV)
Traveling the road from stress to humility
We can’t have God’s grace if we are filled with an “I’ve got this” attitude. Believe me. I’ve tried. My own ambitions and efforts never impress God. He has only ever shown up in my life in a BIG way when I’ve humbly asked Him to.
When I get on my knees and pray: “Lord, help me.” That’s when He steps in and saves me.
Don’t we all want God to come in and rescue us from our weakness? Me! I do! I don’t want to feel empty.
Are you tired of living with stress?
Are you tired of living with bitterness and pride?
I know I am. I feel like pride is the one sin I can’t get rid of, but God is always allowing circumstances in my life to mold me and lead me into seasons where I need to lean on Him even more and find the humility to ask for help.
He allows stressful seasons, not to make us suffer, but to lead us to humility. Why? Because in humility we find God.
A great way to find God is to spend time in the Word.
When you’re a busy mom, however, I know it’s tough to find the time, and sometimes even a good method of study. If either one describes you, you’ll want to check out the “Mama needs the Word Bible Challenge.” Explore a different Bible study each month…and you’re sure to find a way that works for you!
Sarah writes in a brick house at the end of a road with her husband, five kids, and two cats. Motherhood fills her days with sweetness, but her passion is to inspire focus and encourage deep-rooted Bible study for the busy mom. She is the author of three Bible studies. Life is full of seasons, but every season can be made more joyful when time is spent in God’s word. Join Sarah on Instagram at @sarah_e_frazer and her website, sarahefrazer.com. Download her FREE prayer challenge here: sarahefrazer.com/prayer.
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