righteousness

Poker Face

People who know me in person say I don’t have a good poker face. That when I think something, you know it instantly as it plays out across my face for all the world to see. I’d have to say they are right. I’m working on it and it’s getting better. But on the days when I am tired or stressed or just plain ornery, it still slips out in all it’s glory.

Lately I’ve noticed a heart attitude that keeps creeping across my face and rolling off my tongue all too easily. When I’ve allowed myself to be irritated by a situation or a person, it’s easy for me to harbor the irritation. Before you know it, I’ve slipped into belittling that same situation or person, allowing their importance to dwindle in proportion to my growing irritation. As if I’m the decider of all things…the arbiter of what’s right or what should be done. As if.

Sometimes we fall into a habit without even realizing it. It’s something that crops up in an attitude and then slips out in a word here or there. It doesn’t seem like a big deal at first and then you find you’ve said or done it more than once. And whoa! What is going on here?

A Haughty Spirit

Well, here’s what the word of the Lord has to say about such an attitude…

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Haughty eyes and a proud heart—the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin. Proverbs 21:4

There’s more  but those two are enough of a warning for me! I certainly don’t want to fall. And none of us need anything else in our lives that will produce sin, right? Because it’s not just our pride and haughtiness that are the problem. It’s how we allow those attitudes to settle in our hearts and minds and then spill out all over people we are supposed to love instead.

I feel I’m not alone in this since we are seeing an awful lot of spewing going on around us these days. But not being alone in my sin doesn’t make it right. It just means I’m not gonna be lonely over here!

A Harvest of Righteousness

The testimony today is that I don’t have to accept this attitude or actions from my own self. I can choose to change.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

James 3:13, 17-18

So maybe today we just pray for wisdom and humility. For ourselves and for our world. Because I don’t know about you, but I could use a harvest of righteousness right about now. A harvest of righteousness that blankets our lives and our world like so much new-fallen snow. That brings a quietness to our hearts and minds and tongues.

I suspect our world could use such a harvest too. 

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Holly Barrett


Finding a cheerful heart
Enter the gates with thanksgiving