This week almost all of my kids were back in school after the Christmas break. Most years my goal has been to have all the decorations boxed back up and the Christmas tree taken down by at least New Year’s Day, and definitely before school started back up. Unfortunately, in the past this has often meant that I have been cranky from the stress of getting it all cleaned up by that certain, arbitrary date. This year, I simply have not been able to get any undecorating done yet, and that is okay. There is something else I have been working on cleaning up–my attitude!
I have had several conversations with other people lately about the power our attitudes have on those around us, specifically our families. It is amazing how a bad attitude from just one person can spread throughout the house. Of course God has known that all along, which is why you can find quite a lot of advice in the Bible about heart attitudes and the power of our words. The book of Proverbs especially has a lot to say. In chapter 18:21 it says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Chapter 21:23, “He who guards his, (or her) mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” Those verses are really quite sobering if you think about it, life and death and calamity. That goes a lot further than just having a nice, peaceful home. But then again, doesn’t everything start at home?
If that is true, then it is even more important that I allow the Holy Spirit to clean up my heart. I do not want to be instilling bad attitudes into my family for them to carry out into the world. Instead, I want to learn to trust God in everything and be filled with His peace, (even in a house still decorated for Christmas in mid-January!) guard my tongue, and encourage those around me toward good attitudes and love, that they can then carry to a hurting world.
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24