Fewer Cringe-Worthy Moments

There are moments I make myself cringe.

Like when the person driving in front of me spurts along at 8 or 9 miles an hour beneath the speed limit, and my response is less than lovely.

I wish I knew why getting behind the wheel sometimes brings out the Cruela DeVille in me. My guess is it’s likely a combination of my Type-A gotta get there personality and the selfish part of me that doesn’t want people in my way.

And that just makes me sad.

For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the Holy Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are opposed to the flesh; for these are antagonistic to each other—continually withstanding and in conflict with each other, so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. (Galatians 5:17)

Can you relate? Is there some trigger in your life that makes you respond in cringe-worthy ways, too?

Sweet friend, our answer is the verse prior to the one above:

But I say, walk and live habitually in the Holy Spirit—responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh—of human nature without God. (Galatians 5:16)

But it’s not enough to just read the verse above. We’ve got to internalize it, then (here comes the sometimes painful part) do it. And the best way I know to make that happen is to pray.

And pray. 

And pray. 

Because authentic change only begins when we absorb God's Word and pray. So this week I will be making a concerted prayer effort--while I'm in my car--to pray, breathe deeply, and not stress about traffic.

The truth is, in order to have fewer cringe-worthy moments, we need to have more prayer moments. Then we'll be responsive to an controlled by the Holy Spirit. Not by a snide comment, an awful situation, or even a rude driver.

Feel free to print out this prayer and use it to your heart's content. I'll do the same. And together, let's have fewer cringe-worthy moments.  

Dear Lord,

Authentic change begins by recognizing my need to change, and asking You to help me. I want to walk and live habitually in the Holy Spirit. I want to be responsive to and controlled and guided by Your Spirit—not by people, events, or situations that trigger a sinful response on my part. When circumstances are not to my liking, help me not to gratify the cravings and desires of my flesh, but in Your grace, walk in the Holy Spirit so that my reaction will honor You.

Help me to walk in the fruits of the Spirit, particularly (name one specific reaction).  God, Your Word says out of the heart the mouth speaks. Please purify and change my heart so that good things come out of my mouth. Enable me to glorify You by walking in self-control, and give me Your peace and joy this week as I make the effort to change my behavior in this area.  In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.


Karen said...

Ouch, did you write that for me? Love that name, "cringe-worthy" moments. I'll remember that. :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Amen!!! You have made me want to pray right now.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Everything looks great here, Julie. And yes, I get this. Recently, I've been having outbursts of anger . . . I've always spoken my mind, but there's been more punch to those thoughts lately. This morning and this afternoon, I've been specifically praying about it, asking for God's control in my life.

I think I have too much stress in my life right now and very little control over a few situations. Thank you for this reminder; so in keeping with what I wrote about over the past week.

PS: Things look great here!

Colleen Reske said...

Thank you for this, Julie. "Fewer cringe-worthy moments." Yes, I strive for that, too! Your prayer is strong and the scriptures you quoted are spot-on to help me work on this area of my life.

I just wrote last week about the desire to control my thoughts and my tongue on my blog "Hope to find". I am beginning to feel a shift in my thinking, and you are absolutely right that it is thru prayer that this will be accomplished. Your message will encourage me to keep fighting the good fight! Thank you!

Hester's Heart said...

Me too Julie! The way people drive . . . drives me nutso! :)

thanks for sharing with today and for the reminder to live by the Spirit and not gratify the flesh.

Your website looks great! Beautiful photo!
Love, Hester

AmyAlves said...

Beautiful update here sister! Yes on PRAYER... come Holy Spirit! ~ Blessings out, Amy

Rachel Beran said...

Just started reading Lysa TerKeurst's "Unglued". What a great addition to what I just read there. It really does boil down to living in the Spirit, living intentionally and not reactively. Thanks for the reminder to pray, pray, pray. Always appreciate your posts.


I have been thinking a lot about transformation this week, too. Thanks for sharing this verse.


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