Hire
Writers
Editors
Home Tour About Read What's New Help Forums Join
My Account Login
Shop
Save
Support
E
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  

Win A Publishing Package HERE            

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge

BACK TO
CHALLENGE
MAIN

INSTRUCTIONS

how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level

ENTRIES

submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners



Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.





TRUST JESUS TODAY

TRY THE TEST



Share
how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: A Troubling Self Discovery
By Ruth Thoutenhoofd
03/08/10


 LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
 SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
 ADD TO MY FAVORITES

Iíve never thought much about being a Canadian. Born and raised on the prairies, I took for granted the space for huge gardens, the enormous blue sky, the unlimited ďplaygroundĒ of our farm complete with the very best climbing trees and a creek to swim in.

Moving later to the west coast, the trips through the Rockies took my breath away. The year-round green of lawn and evergreen, cherry trees blooming in March and lawns still needing mowing in November were a blessed change from long, cold prairie winters. And Iíve always felt grateful when people from other countries marvel at the expanse of this enormous country after describing their own cramped quarters and their problems with traffic. But Iíve never been what you would call patriotic in the sense that our American friends and close neighbours seem to mean the word.

We loved having the Olympics here and got a little crazy when we began to win some gold medals. It was fun. Hockey is a big thing here and we hate losing games to other countries, so when we actually ended up with a gold medal in ďourĒ sport, the whole country sent a cheer up Iím sure the Americans next door could hear. Then it was over and we went back to normal.

I have family on both sides of the border. Weíve never compared countries except factually or in fun. So the day after the Olympics were over, I was shocked at the really mean things friends of a family member said about Canada on Facebook. Iím sure they didnít realise Canadians were going to read the remarks and I donít know the people who commented, so I donít know their experiences or reasons for being rude. That isnít the point of this article. What scared me and surprised me was my reaction.

My emotions went quickly from disgruntled to angry. All day long, I thought up mean and rude things to say back. Thankfully I didnít write any of them down, because Iíve learned from experience the regret that can come from putting into print things felt in the heat of negative emotions. But God spoke to me loudly and clearly about what I discovered was still hidden in my heart after nearly forty years of walking with him. Sarcasm, the need to retaliate, the desire to embarrass and get the last word, and the deep desire to use my words to wither the spirit of unknown people all shocked me. The hurtful words hadnít even been aimed at me or at anyone I love! The people who wrote them donít know I exist.

I thought I had changed from the sarcastic young woman who met the Lord all those years ago. But I realised anew that it is only the Holy Spirit within me that can give me the grace to accept criticism and not retaliate. It is only God himself who can shine through me and love the unlovely. I have not really changed. If I react so negatively to something as small as trash talk about the country I live in, what might I do when my loved ones are harshly criticised or abused?

I pray for the Holy Spirit to truly change the inner me! I pray for more grace, for my first reaction to be one of love and understanding, no matter what the circumstance. And Iím so thankful that he taught me this lesson in circumstances as silly and innocuous as these, not in something that really mattered!


The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE

JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.


This article has been read 267 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judy Wood03/11/10
I can say Amen. Only with the Holy Spirit can we live differently. Our reactions sometimes are not we would have them be. A good lesson for us.
AnneRene' Capp 03/12/10
I like your message. That old nature is always "available" to us but nothing about it is advantageous or Christ like and I too thank God for intervening with His Holy Spirit when I am tempted to walk backwards.
Sarah Elisabeth 03/18/10
Ruth, congrats on your highly commended award! Be sure to check the highest rankings on the forum:

http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=419252#419252