God is always faithful to show us what's in our hearts. It is His goodness that leads us to repentance.
I'm sure we've all run across situations where the best - or WORST - of us is made known. Like a tea bag, when put in a hot situation our insides seep out and expose us. Will we be bitter or sweet? Will we bring refreshment and healing to those around us, or will we bring a pucker to their faces?
You've tasted bitter tea before - it's nearly unbearable. You want to spit it out the minute it touches your tongue. No amount of sugar or cream can hide the bitterness. Is that how we are in times of testing? Do we drive people away from us or do we draw them in with sweet esences of grace and mercy?
Here are a few things we can do in a hot water situation to avoid saying or doing things we regret:
1.) Pray before you do anything. Whatever you're feeling--be it hurt, frustration, anger, bitterness, or sadness--pray before saying or doing anything. Often times our emotions will drive us to want to vent, scream, and retaliate. But...
2.) The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindess, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Are you actions - even your thoughts - lining up with those qualities? Compare and see.
3.) While you're at it, why don't you also compare your heart to I Cor 13, the love chapter? Love suffers long and is kind...it keeps no record of wrongs...love rejoices in the truth...it bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things...love never fails. Are you displaying love-like qualities?
4.) If you haven't made the cut for numbers 2 or 3, repent and ask for forgiveness, both from the Lord and the other(s) involved.
5.) Finally, forgive. Don't wait for an apology; don't go searching for one. Even if you were 100% right and others invovled never repent, you need to forgive.
My prayer is that when my "tea bag of a life" is next dipped into a hot situation, I'll be able to fill the moment with herbs and spices of grace.