You're enjoying a lively conversation with old friends. Inside jokes are flying fast, and you're feeling like a kid again. Suddenly a stranger appears out of nowhere and reprimands your behavior.
You blink, trying to place this person and what prompted them to stick their finger in your face.
You glance around, and suddenly everyone's staring at you, waiting to see what you'll do. The heat rises, and the injustice of the person's accusations stirs every snarky cell in your DNA.
And you let them have it.
The audience leans in, their baited breath fueling your force. You deliver a scathing comeback your childhood neighbor bully would have cherished.
You can feel the love. Likes and comments pop up all over the screen, and trembling, you scroll away, victorious.
...you just don't know it yet.
Those snark cells, in former eras AKA meanness, rudeness, ill-temperedness, or wrath, just trained your body how to respond to unpleasantness.
It may not make a big deal at your age, but there may come a day when you wish you could retrain those cells. When your heart can't handle much more pulsing venom. When your trigger's so touchy nobody wants to be near you.
When all you can see in others is the ugly.
It doesn't have to be that way.
When God commanded older women to teach the young women to be sober, so that their good sense continually conquered their wild emotions, He could look through time and see the dawn of Facebook feuds. He could see my finger twitching to scroll to the very place I find such deep discouragement.
God knew this here frecklefaced girl who loves to learn wouldn't be able to follow a single thing she knows to do if she didn't first learn to be sober, to let her good sense continually conquer her wild emotions.
He knew how desperately I would need to learn to think logically, especially when all of society would be engineered to enhance emotionalism.
He's given us plenty of ways to choose soberness over madness, too. The Bible is full of stories written for our admonition.
In one of the stories, a woman disobeys a clear command not to look back as a city is destroyed by fire from heaven. She knows she shouldn't. But she ignores good sense because she had all the feels. And she became a pillar of salt.
And how was she able to look back? In this simple verse that speaks volumes, there's a huge lesson:
So...where was she?
The angels had told her husband and their entire family not to look back, and her husband was obeying. She, however, was behind him.
He couldn't see what she was up to.
If she looked back, how would he ever know?
I wonder if her daughters were watching her as she sneaked a peek back at the devastation she'd been forbidden to view.
I wonder what they learned from Mama.
Regardless, she looked back and was destroyed as a result.
And anytime we step out of the line of sight of our authorities, we can know we're in prime position to make a bad choice.
When I don't let my husband look at my phone or check who I'm messaging, I'm making it easy to let my emotions sweep me to some heinous place.
So, thanks to Lot's wife, I've learned that touching base with my husband, letting him know what's going on with me, even when it's embarrassing or shameful, releases emotional tension so suddenly I'm not so tempted to do whatever it is that would destroy me.
Not that it's easy. I have to force myself sometimes to become vulnerable enough to let him know what's going on with me. Or to ask an older woman to give me desperately needed advice I'm ashamed I need.
That's my protection. Authority.
When I hide from him, the monster of fear, anger, temptation, whatever threatens to consume me. When I finally unload to him where I'm struggling, suddenly my problem vanishes.
He knows me, and the more I trust him to let him know me, the more he trusts me.
He's a gem. I'd have busted a gusset by now if not for him.
And when he's not available, a godly much-older-wiser-woman can snap my logic back in place just about as well. What a gift. Authority.
No wonder the enemy tries to demonize it.
But haha! Jesus always wins.
How have your authorities/mentors helped prevent you from making big mistakes? Is it easy or hard for you to open up to them?