I went to bed last night so relieved that the day was coming to a close. It had been one of those days where I felt “off” the whole day or as I usually refer to the feeling as being “in a funk.” I should have been aware because my “funk” usually follows a few days of busy activity that gets me over tired which makes me cranky and grumpy. As I settled in under the covers, I tried not to mentally recap the day’s events because they were bad enough to live through once, much less rehash again. But I couldn’t help it. The harsh words I flung around like mud came to the forefront in my mind and I cringed all over again. Part of me was so ashamed and the other half so mortified that such evil spewed from my mouth. I had spoken words I wished I never would have said and can never take back. The worst…I screamed them at the people I love the most. I closed my eyes and hoped tomorrow would be a better day.
What a nice surprise it was to awake to the sunshine streaming through the windows in my bedroom. As I slid my feet across the carpet in search of my slippers, I recalled the verse in Lamentations that says. “His mercies are new every morning.” I sighed and made my way to the kitchen for my morning coffee. I stepped into the hall and was met by my husband who, with outstretched arms, pulled me into a loving embrace. He whispered into my ear, “Are you ok? I’m sorry for what happened yesterday… can I pray for you?” I melted into his chest like a stick of butter on a hot summer day. He concluded the prayer and I poured the coffee. We began the usual morning chit chat and he mentioned the topic for today’s “Word of the Week” is Integrity. We bounced ideas back and forth like a game of tennis. I told him he just displayed the moral uprightness that is the essence of Integrity. “How?” he asked. I said, “By admitting your role in what happened yesterday that led to my angry outburst. It takes a person of character and integrity to admit when they are wrong or have failed. Our human nature wants to blame and point fingers and say, ‘well, if you wouldn’t have done this, I wouldn’t have said that…” It takes integrity to admit fault, ask for forgiveness and reconcile the relationship.”
In an ideal world harsh words would never be spoken, hurtful actions would not be imposed, trust would never be broken, and feelings would not get hurt…but that’s not the world we live in. We live in the real world where anger is an issue, bitterness takes root and evil lurks in our hearts like a lion ready to pounce. We all know what we “should do” and the “right” way to respond … but the truth is sometimes we fail, we fall, and we offend. The good news is grace fills the gap between the ideal and the real. That’s how our loving Heavenly Father treats us and that’s how He wants us to respond to others and ourselves in times of failure.
“The LORD is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust.” Psalm 103
“Thank you, God, for your grace that is so amazing it covers the deepest of sin and enables me to move forward in times of failure. Help me as I press on toward being a person of integrity. In the name of Jesus ~Amen.”