“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” – Ephesians 4:31 (ESV)

As a young widow, I told myself that if I could survive the loss of my husband, then I could accomplish anything I set my mind to do. To test that mindset, I took flying lessons. In my first lesson, I sensed a bit of attitude from my instructor. His attitude silently screamed I don’t want to teach a woman to pilot a plane. He proceeded to tell me that if I got ill, I would be the one cleaning it up. Anybody that knows me knows that I thrive on a challenge. When I saw the look on his face, I knew I would throw down the gauntlet. I would confront him the only way I knew how. I was going to show him that he was wrong about me. When we got in the air, I learned how to stall the engine and bring it out of a stall. I smiled to myself, knowing that he thought I would be sick. With alarms blaring, I stalled the plane and then brought it out time and time again. After three or four times practicing, and getting it right, he told me it was enough. I looked over at him, and he looked a little green. I told him I felt I needed more practice. I didn’t, but that’s what I told him. I wanted him to suffer, and I wanted him to be the one who got sick. Before he said no, I stalled the plane on purpose. As we headed straight for the ground, he hurriedly reached for the bag to throw up. I have to be honest and say it gave me a thrill that I had proven him wrong. It was only later that I realized his perceived attitude toward me didn’t justify my action. I knew better. Growing up in church, I had a strong foundation under me, and yet not only did I disappoint myself, but I disappointed God. I intentionally wanted my instructor to pay for his attitude toward me. But what I did made the situation worse by disrespecting God and His teachings. I knowingly went against His Word. The instructor didn’t give me any attitude after that day, but I wasn’t happy with how I handled the situation. I was the one with the attitude problem. Getting back at someone for a perceived wrong is never right in God’s Word. What was revealed to me was my ongoing need for Jesus. Being a Christian isn’t a part-time job. It’s a 24-hour commitment every day to do what is pleasing to Him.

Heavenly Father, sometimes we do things that we know are wrong and that aren’t pleasing to You. Help us recognize these things and correct them before we follow through with them. In hurting others, not only are we hurting ourselves, but You also.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Written by: Laurie Davis

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