We must lay before him what is in us; not what ought to be in us.
- C.S. Lewis
I got angry at someone today. It was a justifiable anger; the person hadn’t considered the needs of others and was only thinking of himself.
I was unhappy with him, but later I was unhappy with myself. You see, there’s a slippery slope between righteous and self-righteous anger, and in the heat of the moment I said more than necessary. This isn’t unusual: No matter how hard I try to restrain myself, it’s often apparent (after the fact) that I should have silenced my tongue a few sentences sooner. Today, in the process of ensuring that the other person knew he had trespassed, I trespassed against him.
The way around this is a path that I forgot to take this morning. A quick talk with the Holy Spirit before I open my mouth usually helps me arrive at a better place. When I pray, Let me say only what you want me to say, more often than not there's nothing I need to confess later. Let me say only what you want me to say helps me focus on being a servant. It reminds me that few words are often better than many. Most of all, it helps me place God’s will before my impulses... which is where I want it to be.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.