It's amazing how one or two little thoughts change your whole attitude. I called someone I love and we have a good relationship, but out of all of us that they deal with, we're the ones that get forgotten or relegated to last place the most. I don't think it's a conscious decision but maybe we're the most self-sufficient or maybe they just don't like us as much (just kidding!). I'm also sure that they have no clue that I perceive it as such. My husband tells me to shut up and deal with it or get over myself most of the time. But I started thinking about the stuff I'm holding onto, all the bitterness and resentment, and my whole attitude changed. This is all within 5 minutes. I lost my patience. My tone changed. My posture got worse. I tried praying, but it feels like I asked God to take it and then didn't actually get around to dropping it off. So I went to the bible on my church site (http://www.fellowshipofsd.org/tp40/Default.asp?ID=57229) and typed in bitterness. The most useful return was Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice: (I followed with looking it up at the crosswalks bible online so I could look at different translations-big help).
It didn't immediately help. I felt no overwhelming sense of joy. But I have a new memory verse. One that I can hide in my heart for next time. And the realization that God won't instantaneously make us feel all warm and fuzzy, but will give us direction and strength and peace to change our attitude. The feelings aren't the sin, it's the carrying them around and acting out of how they changed our emotions. I also felt the love that God has for us by the fact that he gave us instructions. I don't know how many times I've told ClaireBeth to do something but not told her how and then gotten irrationally mad because she did it wrong. God thankfully is not like that.
As I sit here and read through this, I realize it ties in with our sermon at church today. We're in Joshua 6 where Joshua and the Israelites take over Jericho. And God told them exactly how. He gave them very explicit directions. All they had to do was follow them. Obviously I have a lot to learn from them. I may not conquer a city or win the war all at once, but I can win a battle against the devil and myself.