The last word

When I was young, I got in trouble a lot. It wasn’t because I was a bad kid. I was actually a freakishly good one. No– I didn’t get into trouble for hitting or kicking or biting– I got into trouble because I wanted the last word.

I can remember the look on my mother’s face. There was shock and rage and disappointment. This adorable blonde thing she carried in her body, and then cared for and nurtured, was disrespecting her and was not about to let her have the final say. I cringe to think of it now.

But that adorable blonde has not come so far in life. Today, in fact, I saw that child again. I saw the child that wanted to stare indignantly into the face of authority and just keep talking.

It’s self righteousness. That’s all it is. You know more than the other person and you need to make sure they know that you do. And that may be the worst sin of all, as if there were a hierarchy of sin. But when you think about it– it’s pretty bad. There’s only one truly righteous being, and when I get in that mode– well, I think I’m pretty great too.

I’m not. And that’s all there is to say about that.

That little girl staring into the face of her mother with a mouth that just wants to keep yapping is now grown up and married… and wants to keep yapping. But it’s not respectful. It’s not productive. It’s not biblical. Dangit.

Proverbs 21:23 says, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” Wish someone could’ve told that to the seven year old version of me. Probably wouldn’t have changed much, though. The adult version of me still has a hard time with it. But it’s truth, whether I take it to heart or not.

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