I recently finished Spencer W. Kimball's, The Miracle of Forgiveness and I'm currently reading Sheri Dew's book, If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard. Both of these books are inspirational and have made me ponder different aspects of my life, helping me to see where improvements should be made in order for me to become more like Christ. I thought I'd share one piece, something that I'm currently working on and have been working on for quite some time, but this quote helped me see it in another more helpful way.
Sheri Dew quoted C.S. Lewis from his book, Mere Christianity, writing "that as we begin to mature spiritually, 'we begin to notice, besides our particular sinful acts, our sinfulness; we begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity. I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to mind is that the provocation [against me] was so sudden and unexpected: I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth...If there were rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.'"
Before I became a parent, and more specifically a parent of two toddlers, I felt like I was a pretty patient and even- tempered person: I didn't think that was anything that needed to be improved. And just to avoid a misunderstanding, I want you to know that I NEVER and will NEVER hit or use mean language with anyone, child or adult. What I'm referring to is when I get weary from a long day of using self control and patience, I'll sometimes give myself permission(or that's what I think I must be doing) to let up a little of my self control and raise my voice a bit louder, scold and sometimes drag a child to their room for time-out when really I knew better, knew that I could have handled that situation with more love and kindness and respect for the child. So after reading this quote from C.S. Lewis, especially the part(I'm going to repeat it because it was so important to me) which reads:
On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth...If there were rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man: it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am.'"
I have realized that it's something that I really need to change about myself and that I am going to do. I'm not just going to try, but I really will fix this about myself and I'll fix it now. I don't want something that I know I'm doing wrong but not willing to work hard enough to fix, effect my children in later years, I wouldn't want them to behave as I behave now, I want them to behave better... so I will master that part of me and be an example for them of how a good Christ-like person should be at ALL times and not just when it's convenient or easy for me.
So anyways, these are my thoughts for the day. I'll keep praying for help because I know I can't do this on my own...putting off the natural woman isn't an easy thing to do :).