I grew up in a home that was filled with criticism, accusation, shame, and bitterness. My mother was constantly shouting and berating me and it shaped me into a little girl who was afraid, timid and withdrawn. The healing I have experienced through God’s love has freed me from that shell and released me into the destiny that God planned for me. But the enemy is always trying to draw us back into those old, familiar, dark places.
A couple of years ago I was at the grocery store picking up a couple of things after watching my grand-babies, and as I loaded my purchases onto the conveyor my phone rang. Normally I wouldn’t have answered, but it was from my daughter Jami so I answered her call. It seems there was a minor family emergency, and as I paused to reply to my daughter I heard a loud, strident voice shouting at me from behind me in the line.
“Well! If you would put down your *&^^% phone and pay attention to what you are doing I could get out of here!” I thought someone must be fooling with me, and my daughter asked if someone was yelling at me. I turned around and saw a woman who was screaming, literally spewing this filth at me. At that point, everything went into slow motion and I was back in the home of my youth hearing my mother screaming at me.
I’m looking at her and in that moment I had three choices.
- I could choose door number one. I could become the little girl I used to be. “I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. Please forgive me. I’m a good girl.” But I’ve been healed and set free from that. I’m not opening that door anymore.
- Or I could take door number two. “I am not the submissive, frightened little girl I once was. I have power and authority. I do NOT have to take this.” I could just lay it on the line for her, act just like my mother used to act towards me. But no … that isn’t who I am now. That is not a part of me anymore. Door number 2 is locked and sealed.
- So I went to door number three. “It sounds like you are in a hurry. How can I help you?” I loved her, blessed her and dealt with her in grace, showing with my countenance and the sound of my voice the love of Christ within me. And as I separated her from all the horrible, nasty stuff that was coming out of her mouth towards me, she changed. The volume of her voice came down. Her countenance changed. And let me tell you, the clerk behind the counter looked so relieved!
We don’t have to react to things that happen to us because that is reacting out of your soul. Instead, we need to respond out of our spirit man. We have to train ourselves to respond out of our spirit, out of God’s kingdom and not be seduced by Satan’s kingdom. It’s a split second decision when we have to decide how we will choose to respond.
This is how the body of Christ is supposed to act. This is how we change the world and let the world see that we are different. We need to show that we can separate people from the stuff that’s happening to them and from the stuff that is in them. We need to love them, wearing a countenance of love that shows through our words and our actions. We need to change the atmosphere around us.
Are you going to act perfectly every time? No, but it’s a growing process that starts today! You can choose whether you are going to react in Satan’s kingdom or respond in God’s kingdom. God is anxious to help you in this! He is always there to teach you, support you and help you choose the right path.
We are children of God. We are no longer sinners, we are saints. And the good news is that God’s grace gives the help and the power to overcome temptation and sin so that we can walk free and represent Jesus’ kingdom.