“A soothing tongue is a tree of life but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4
The catchy tune of “Fruit of the Spirit” by Uncle Charlie has been a recent favourite on the girls’ playlist and they managed to pick up the tongue twisting lyrics in no time. Living our lives with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control is a lot more daunting than singing it. Head knowledge does not translate to daily life application and God sees the latter. God sees our heart.
I had created fruit of the spirit family devotion, decorated Christmas tree with the nine fruits of the spirit previously and repeatedly told the girls off for not applying what they learn. It’s always easy to tell the girls’ the expected behavior in a situation but yet as an adult I can’t behave as I should when I am put in a difficult situation.
Modelling good behaviour and living a godly life to my girls has proven to be a daily challenge and God presented me a test.
Couple weeks back, hubby came into the bedroom with a letter in hand as I was about to read the bible to the girls before their bedtime…
Hubby: “You had the car last Wednesday morning right? Speeding ticket; $150 fine plus 4 demerit points.”
Oh my, it’s like returning the GST vouchers I just received! I recalled after finding out the location of the mentioned offence. I had brought older Gem to the zoo that morning before picking younger Gem from school and the fuel tank was running low. Knowing hubby needed the car that evening, I decided to be nice and make a detour, a deviation from the usual route, to fill up the tank for him. The following was my response/excuse in my defence.
Me: “Ya la, blah blah blah… had to fill up the tank for you. All your fault.”
Why did that even come out from my mouth? All the fruits of the spirit I know and taught crushed in the bin. No love, no joy, no peace, no patience, no kindness, no goodness, no faithfulness, no gentleness, no self-control. The ugly side of me displayed before my girls. I know speeding has no connection to the route, to me being nice to go pump petrol etc. but the natural reaction just like Adam and Eve was playing the blame game; creating excuses.
Oh, I just wanted to dig a burrow and hide! Ashamed of the summon, my reaction and in my heart, I remembered I took the same route the day before, anxious if I will get another summon.
As parents, hubby and I quickly turned this into a lesson for the girls. A negative example, exactly what we should not do because mummy made the wrong choice and my reaction is not pleasing to God.
There was no love as I thought only for myself.
There was no joy as my reactions did not reflect my sovereign God was in control.
There was no peace as I was anxious about receiving another summon.
There was no patience as I sped.
There was no kindness in helping to top up fuel as true kindness does not expect anything in return.
There was no goodness. I was not ready to give.
There was no faithfulness as my actions did not glorify God.
There was no gentleness in my speech for playing the blame game.
There was no self-control as I spoke in haste.
One of those days where you rate yourself a zero for parenting! Let me try to be better tomorrow!
Anyway, hubby furnished my particulars and I have since received the notice. The Traffic Police has very kindly treat this incident as a warning. Thank you very much!