About the Author

Former Bad Girl, grateful for the grace God offers. Happy wife of Bill, one of the Good Guys. Proud mom of two grown-up kids with tender hearts. Lame housekeeper. Marginal cook. Pitiful gardener. Stuff I love? Encouraging my sisters in Christ—across the page, from the platform, online, in person. Unpacking...

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  1. Liz,
    Love this…and I admit that if I were in your shoes I would have been tempted to do the exact same thing. There’s just something in our human, flawed character that wants to say, “Oh year…well then take that!” We are continually in a battle with what our flesh wants to do and looking to what Jesus did in these situations. Oh so hard to turn the other cheek, but that’s what Jesus modeled to us.

    And yes, teaching the young to respect their elders (and their parents I would add in there) even when they are not acting worthy of respect is hard. I believe God gives us these commands to build up our obedience to Him.

    I do have to say, that the whole event reminds me of something my dear father, who’s passed away, would tell me…when people act like that (Lady Violet), just smile and kill ’em with kindness. I know that’s not Biblical but it has helped me in many an occasion…loved this Liz!!

    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. I remember once, years ago, going to the grocery store and being cut off in the parking lot as I was leaving by a woman with a mid-aged child; maybe 12? Maybe a year or so older; anyway, we got to the driveway together and being summer, we had our windows down. She turned to look at me as she knew what she’d done could have caused an accident had I not been watching, and I couldn’t help it, I shook my head. That’s all I did – she proceeded to vent at me using sailor language. I shook my head again and calmly told her she should be ashamed of herself for acting the way she was in front of her daughter and what a fine example she was setting. Well, she sputtered and shooked but could not say one more word. As for the young girl, she grinned at me. The mom then speed away, tires screeching.

    I have no idea what sort of day that mother was having – clearly she was already on edge as evidenced by her driving and her reaction to a simple, gentle remonstration. I often think about her and wonder how she and the girl are doing. The girl is grown by now and hopefully on her own and judging by her reaction to her mom, a better person? A happier person? Hopefully, a saved person. I don’t know who they are but God does and could those of you reading this please send up a prayer for them? And Liz, do not feel badly; we all have these moments – they are quite human and God knows they are coming. It is what we do afterwards that counts.

    • I think you have to be careful there about how you teach children to treat their parents. Feeling pride in the fact that a young child was in agreement with your admonishment and humiliation of her mother is not Biblical.

      In addition, “I couldn’t help myself” is often a lie that Satan uses to allow us to let “little” sins into our lives.

      Who says that mother was a bad person? Who says her daughter should be a “better” person? There is no “good” or “better”. Without Christ we have all fallen short and are lost without salvation. Your sin of unforgiveness was no different than that woman’s sin of selfishness and foul language.

      • I read hope and prayer and kindness in Pam’s comment, no judgement. The word judgement as in most words in the Bible came from different root words in Hebrew or Greek in the Bible. But herein lies what the Bible says we judge ( not condemn) behavior. It’s what we do everyday as we make decisions, however we should never judge anyone’s heart. For God gave that power to His Son and His Son chose not to judge. It is only God who knows a persons heart. We enjoy throwing the word and scripture to not judge around especially as Christians. But we uphold discernment. How do you discern? Of God discernment is wisdom and power. In the flesh it is making a judgement call on what a persons heart feels as it relates to struggles and behavior. I know for myself the 2 are unrelated. But I have been judged and I have judged unwittingly.

        • Thank you, Corena. You got it and are exactly right. I struggle with judgment and discernment, as do we all. If we were perfect we wouldn’t need Jesus. We cannot ever stop sinning while we are in these bodies; thank you God for Your grace, Your understanding and perfect love!

  3. Thank you Liz. I agree with Bev also. We were all brought up to respect our elders. But sometimes our flesh gets ahead us. Blessings.

  4. Oh I get this … after a weekend listening to Dan Allender … the word kindness just keeps rolling around in my heart… just seeing big and small ways I am unkind in my thoughts . Another truth connected to this … what wars against love??? Our self-righteousness and arrogance … for me… I am seeing when … even when I am unkind in my thoughts … I have at some level put myself above another… and I don’t see through the lens of love. And I too am so thankful for God’s kindness and patience toward me… His grace is so amazing!!!
    P.S. …. it would have been so so hard for me to hold my tongue too☺️

  5. Loved seeing your pic and knowing you wrote the day’s devotional! I always walk away refreshed and invigorated after reading your posts – many thanks to you!!

  6. Thank you so much for this reminder Liz. You are spot on!
    I must confess I would have ( & have done…sigh) the same. Leanring always to ‘respond’ rather than ‘react’.

    Blessings……….a sis in Christ

    Sal Williams (grandma from Sri Lanka)

  7. O Liz…I’m reminded of that wonderful scene in Fried Green Tomatoes when Kathy Bates cut off the young girls to grab a parking space: “I’m older and I have more insurance!”. That age knife cuts both ways and I think we are all guilty at times of using it or getting cut with it. I learned a lot about respecting another’s personhood in the years my mother was in a nursing home. It’s just hard and often we cross the line before we even see it.

  8. Ugh! Conviction! I THINK I’ve arrived at the age of keeping my mouth shut, but that doesn’t mean I’m keeping my mind quiet as well. Thanks for the exhortation, Liz.

  9. Liz, Thank you for a good reminder to always be kind, no matter what the situation. It is so very hard to always remember at times! And of course you wanted to defend your daughters, because that’s what moms do, especially when they aren’t doing anything wrong! Your post will make me think twice, the next time I’m in this situation!
    Susan

  10. “Mess up, then fess up.”
    Those words are still singing their way through my mind, because, although sin is certainly serious and not to be toyed with, we have an Advocate with the Father, and forgiveness is the gift that keeps us in right relationship with Him. So grateful for your honest sharing of your own journey, Liz!

  11. Thank you, Liz. Inside, I want to say, “Yeah, but…!” So I guess I will. How do we not allow ourselves to be a “doormat”, and outwardly behave kindly, but INSIDE shove the resentment under the rug, again, and again, and again???? Become bitter and hurt, and wrongly give that person power over our identity?

    What I’ve learned– but fail in all the time– is that to be able to respond in love and not join in the bad behavior, I first have to let myself be DETACHED from what the person said that was so hurtful. Separate myself from her judgment. Realize that is her decision, not mine, to behave that way, and not take on responsibility for it. I have to swallow my pride, realize that she is not truly my measure of worth, put that in God’s Hands once again, then, be able to walk away unscathed.

    BYW, this is my first ever public response to any social media thing! I just joined yesterday to incourage, and hope to join in the connection of spiritual and friendly support to all of you.

      • Dear Bev, thank you so much! I love the “real”. As you can see, I prefer to be “real” myself.
        God BLESS you and all here,
        Sr Mercia Mary

    • Sister Mercia Mary,

      Welcome to In Courage. We are here to encourage each other and build each one up. My prayer is that you will find solace here and be willing to pour your heart out to us. We pray for each other and love on each other.

      Welcome!!

      • Thank you, Beth. Very kind of you. Any advice on how to be involved here, besides reading posts and commenting? Maybe this is the wrong place to ask, as is not on topic. Sorry, everyone! I know I can be praying for all of you for starters!
        Blessings.

    • Sister Mercia Mary,

      Mostly we read the blog and respond. They have book clubs you can join. View entire website and see what hits your fancy. They do podcasts sometimes and once a year have an annual “get-together”. It is done via podcast. You can listen to various speakers.

      I pray this helps and welcome again!

  12. Liz, this is a comment in support of what you said to Lady Violet. I don’t think you were wrong in telling Lady Violet that picture-taking was allowed, and for having the guard verify that fact. You were enlightening her. Maybe my thinking on this is wrong…but i feel that God doesn’t frown on his children helping people have a better, accurate understanding. Of course he wants us to use our words in a loving way, not judgmental or condemning or disrespectful. Perhaps what you regretted was what was in your heart and mind when you said those things. I’ve thought afterward of things i could have said–same words, or very similar–that would have come across as caring, instead of with reproach or with false satisfaction that i had the last word. I have to remember the old adage, “It’s how you say it” that makes the difference.

  13. Liz, I am truly grateful to the Lord for this gift of your words. It speaks to our motives in our hearts. The Lord shows that seeking Him in every moment when we are unsure or tempted can help us avoid acting out of wrong motives. I am so grateful to Him for this, for His forgiveness, as I struggle to learn this and for your example of gentle acceptance of His admonishment and reparation; I stand convicted here too, pulling the log out of my own eye. I love the verses from Timothy-they were a blessing to my life. There is a saying that this reminded me of: Be kind to everyone, for you have no idea what battles they are fighting. Perhaps the best way to judge behavior is through Christ’s compassion, offering His mercy first, comforting with the same comfort we have been given, strengthen our brothers as Christ did when He came here. This is not to say that there will be those that we need to stay away or walk away from. But may we each see Christ in each other today, offering the same kindness and compassion the Lord gave us, shining His light and example to those we meet 🙂

  14. You are always so inspiring! Thank you for being transparent. I am thankful for the reminder not to judge.

  15. I have had a similar experience recently in my own family as a matter of ffact. I don’t want to be disrespectful, but I’m still usually treated like a child. I guess somethimes that’s the way older people think of you. We should a read James and Proverbs, even if you think it, you don’t have to say it. And it’s really good if you can rise above it and not even go there.

  16. My mom always said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Kindness and respect go a long way for any age. I love that god is so kind and patient with us.

  17. Well, I have a hard time with the “respect your elders” philosophy because of the abuse suffered. But I think I see your point. My philosophy has always been to respect all life as Gods creation. I give the same respect to children as I do to elders. I really think its fine to defend yourself and especially your kids, but I do agree that if you can get past the defense mode you are in for a richer heart as a person who can be undeterred by unkindness. Having the strength to overcome unkindness with kindness is a gift only God can supply.

  18. Ha! Liz… Love you dear sister – a very normal reaction from the flesh that will be a trouble-maker for us until the day we are taken to be with our Saviour, Jesus Christ. (Romans 7&8) . There was really nothing terribly bad about what you said to ‘The Dowager’ – but the Holy Spirit lets us know instantly when we have gone off track! What an advocate we have in this Divine Person of the Godhood – taking such a lowly place to serve us constantly. Where would any of us be without this Divine Gift?! And we’ve already been forgiven – Because. Jesus❤️

  19. Oh sister. I struggle with this not just daily, but HOURLY!!! I so want to not be a thorn in anyone else’s side, but frequently find myself begging forgiveness for my over-reactionary behavior. My emotional quotient has a LONG way to go!

  20. I have been in that place many times and reacted similar. Eph 4:32 be kind to one another, tender-earted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you. A Scripture I have had to be reminded of frequently.

  21. Liz,

    I would have been tempted to do the same thing in your situation. It can be so hard to resist “telling” people off – especially rude ones. I’m glad to know that ‘God loves us at every age and every stage, so we can do the same for others.’ I’m slowly learning to love & understand the geriatric population. God is teaching me to be patient, & understanding with them while showing them His love.

    Blessings 🙂