Ruined for Good
Lysa TerKeurst

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

If you have kids, then I’m sure you’ve felt the frustration of having things ruined. Maybe you’ve experienced grape juice on the carpet, scratches on hardwood floors, permanent ink on your favorite shirt, or something similar. Ashley once went up the stairway with a crayon putting tick marks on our freshly painted walls with each step she took. Then she dragged the crayon all the way down the hall to her room. Yes, I said freshly painted walls. I wanted to pull my hair out by the roots!

I’d like to be a mom who handles mishaps and messes with a graceful, “That’s okay, Dear.” But I’m wired with firecrackers in my blood. So, I have to make the choice to let the Holy Spirit reign me in. This means getting into God’s Word every day and praying for Him to give me grace, patience and self-control. I have to make the choice every day to invite God’s spirit to interrupt my fleshly tendencies so that I can have gentle answers that turn away wrath.

God helps me with this through perspective changers. He shows me a different way to look at and process things that trigger my emotions. In response to my frustration with my kids ruining things, He gave me a sweet change of perspective that improved my outlook and diffused my anger.

While visiting Art’s parents, I took a liking to a writing desk in their home. I mentioned to my mother-in-law that I’d love to have it if she ever decided to get rid of it. But she was quick to tell me that she would never get rid of it because it was priceless. She unlatched the fold-down lid to reveal what made this desk so priceless. In a little boy’s handwriting the letters A-R-T were scratched onto the surface. She admitted to being angry with my husband when this happened, but now the scratches that seemed to have ruined her desk are priceless treasures to her. Her little boy’s handwriting is saved for her to cherish and remember. The desk had been ruined…for good.

Dear Lord, Thank You for perspective changes that help us to see past the here and now so that we can see Your truth which sets us free. We are freed from anger, firecracker emotions, short fuses and explosive tempers…free to reveal the YOU in us! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know Him?

The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst

She's Gonna Blow! Real Help For Dealing With Mom Anger by Julie Ann Barnhill

Visit Lysa’s blog

Application Steps:
In your journal, write about a frustrating experience that you’ve recently had with a loved one and how God might want you to change your perspective.

How might our actions change when our perspectives change?

What new thing might God be doing in your life today?

How would your relationships improve if you were less angry?

Power Verses:
Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (NIV)

Ephesians 4:31-32, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (ESV)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a mother with SIX, yes SIX children, I can relate. We just moved into a new parsonage and already, there are scuff marks, and prints, etc, all over. I seem to walk around with all purpose cleaner and a rag all day! I should be greatful for the Lord's blessing of beautiful, healthy children. Thanks for the reminder.

(Name withheld to stave off the church members who might find out my kids are trashing the place. :) )

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been struggling with my spiritual life for many months and the Lord has just recently led me to your site. I think every devotional has been wonderful and has helped me tremendously! They now pop up on my email every day and they are invaluable to me. I would love a printer friendly version to keep in my daily journal. Just a thought.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lord truly works in mysterious ways! I just finished my Christmas news letter and in it I related to "writing on the wall" left by my little 2 year old granddaughter during their last visit. You see, when her mommy was not much older than she, she drew a mural in the entry way with a bright green crayon as far as her little arms could reach. I have to admit as a young mother, I did not react very fact I was pretty harsh. Age has a way of mellowing you. At the discovery of my granddaughters artwork, I found it amusing and adoring! Thank you Lord for letting me come to wisdom in things that don't have eternal matter.

Blogger Glynnis Whitwer said...

When I was a little girl, I wrote in crayon on a wall - only it was my neighbor's house. How did they find out it was me? I wasn't a very devious criminal - I wrote my name. (hee, hee)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironically - just this evening I discovered that my daughter (age4) had written little scribbles of green crayon all over my grandmother's old sewing table. I couldn't believe it! How appropriate to read this just now! It has a literal and spiritual translation to my day! Oh that I would let the Holy Spirit reign in my every word - to model my prayer after the old camp song - "In my mouth Lord - be glorified today!"
- Whitney

Blogger Tammy said...

It is so easy to react in a negative way when I kids destroy things but so much more productive to be calm and allow the Holy Spirit to be in control. I know I struggle with my reaction to my children's disasters but I have learned over the years that those times can be times of learning and growing for them and me. Thanks be to God for his patience and grace with us when we "break" something...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotional was wonderful and a great reminder of God's perspective on relationships. It helped me greatly because of a comment my 2 year old granddaughter made when I was caring for her and telling her that Jesus loved her. She "no" and that I was stupid. I didn't get angry but it did surprise me. I am praying that God will show me how I can impact her with God's love in a way that will defeat other negative influences in her little life. Her response was a good reminder for me to be extra patient and loving with her when she makes mistakes.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came home from work one night to find "I love you mom and dad - love Scott, written in permanent black marker on the doorpost of the house we lived in. It wasn't very hard to catch the quilty party since he had signed his name - no "not me" that day. The problem was the house was owned by the company my husband worked for. I told my husbands boss we didn't know weather to spank him or give him a great big hug. It stayed there for quite some time before we had the heart to paint over it. I wish I would have taken a picture of it but it will be in my heart forever!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear sisters in christ,
I would have taken any pain to clean and do things after my baby.anything.but i do not have one after years or marriage..Do kindly pray for me as you read this.

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