I can’t remember exactly how old my son, Kota, was at the time this story took place… maybe 10; I’ve told it before but it’s worth repeating.
He and I were driving around, running errands. I got upset at a driver on the road and, while I can’t remember if I called the driver a name or not, I do remember the condition of my heart coming up later in a chat with Kota.
Actually, the more I think about it, I’m pretty sure I called the driver dude an idiot. I’ll just be honest. Not my finest human/parental/God believing/Worked-at-an-elementary-school-at-the-time moment. But I said it and there was no taking it back.
I apologized to Kota for being such a jerk-mom and a bad example. This evolved into a great conversation about bad words and why we say them.
I told Kota that I allowed my frustrations and anger and impatience to get the best of me and calling the guy an idiot is what flowed out of my heart. He understood it – basic stuff right there.
Then that led to the topic of cussing.
After our chat, and arriving to an understanding of why I did what I did, I asked him… Based on our discussion, what would have been worse for me to call that guy? An idiot or an asshole?
His answer: Neither. Both would be bad. It’s your heart that is the problem.
My calling that driver an idiot hurt me more than the guy who didn’t even hear me. And it also was an unfortunate thing for my son to hear.
Still, I am grateful he understood. It was such a great teachable moment that I couldn’t pass it up. A valuable lesson on measuring our words.
To measure our words accurately before they leave our lips we must know the condition of our hearts first. Even more, we need to be honest with ourselves of where our hearts are at.
@@Want to know the heart of someone? Listen to how they use their words and how they speak of others.@@