He who conceals hatred has lying lips,
And he who spreads slander is a fool.
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise. -Proverbs 10:18-19 (NASB)
Not very long ago, I had an altercation with my stepson and words were spoken between us that won’t soon be forgotten, to say the least. After that, I found in myself to have an intense dislike of him (in fact, hatred is a word I don’t like but it might fit, to be honest). I have struggled with this now for [what will soon be] a couple of months. Much of this could have been avoided if we were both able to restrain our mouths from saying some of the things we did. The situation was provocative, and while I still feel I was in the right to do what I did that caused the stir in the first place, I could have walked away until things cooled down– and not referred to him as a “loser who has nothing.” No matter what he did, that was not right for me to say. Some people may be bad or losers, but that’s not for me to say. He was created by God– just as I was.
I now pray for him and his girlfriend (also involved) to have the “blessings of Abraham” as described in Deuteronomy 28. Since I have begun to do that, he doesn’t seem so bad and I can more easily come to terms with both him and my own self in all of this. A little time in the book of James (specifically chapter 4) has also helped me to see my part in this. I am reminded when reading that chapter that the source of quarrels for me is when either I or the person I’m in conflict with (or both) don’t get something we want.
One thing I have discovered about the Bible: it has all the answers I need, if I but inquire of the Lord and spend time in His Word. Amen? Amen!