That Time I Lost It At The Grocery Store


“Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” –Proverbs 25:28

I was out running errands with the children in tow. We returned some books to the library and checked out some more. Then, we proceeded to go to our local grocery store for a few essentials. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I spotted the cart “corral” and decided that would be a good place to park. It had the “big” cart already waiting for me to load my children into it.

That’s when it happened. Another car cut me off and “stole” MY spot. As any normal human would do, I threw up my hands in outrage. The older lady who was driving just starred a hole right through me in disgust. She pointed to another spot next to her, as if this spot were hers.

I backed up the minivan and parked nearby. As I got out of my car to unload the baby and big boys, the older man (the passenger) got out of his car. He began yelling at me and calling me names. He told me I had no right to throw up my hands at him.

Yup, I lost it. I had taken all that I could handle. The words flew out of my mouth quicker than I could think them. The man continued to yell and come closer. I starred him down as if my life depended on it. Then, my oldest son said, “Mommy why is that man so mad and yelling?” I wanted to tell him I was the one yelling and mad. I was the one who lost control of herself. The man threatened to call the police all the while his wife was shopping in the store as if nothing was going on.

Now, all of my children looked terrified. I saw the look of fear in their eyes. They were so afraid the police would take me to jail. I had not handled that in a Godly way. I lost my cool and my kids were scared. My words had hurt others including my children. 

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your site, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” –Psalm 19:14

The bible says, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37).

I just lost control of myself and did not show the love of Christ. I failed at the one thing I was created for. But, it will not condemn me because I have been saved by the grace of God. I did repent of this sinful behavior and learned a very valuable lesson: little eyes are always watching and I am to be like Jesus to them. I teach them who Jesus is through my own behavior and actions.

If you have ever been in a situation like this one I am with you. It is hard because there were witnesses to my un-godly behavior. But, I trust the words of Timothy and hold them close to my heart: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Next time I am in a situation like this I will extend grace. Lysa TerKeurst says, “I’d rather stand before God knowing I loved others too much rather than regretting that I judged too harshly.” (from Twitter @LysaTerKeurst). I  need a lot of grace and love. I need to GIVE a lot more grace and love to others. I need to learn to better control what comes out of my mouth. Not just for my benefit, but for my children’s sake as well. Self-control has always been the hardest of the fruits of the spirit for me. I am a work in progress.

I love Ephesians 4:29 because my mouth has gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years. My mom said I always had to have the last word as a teenager. That sounds about right. So this is my prayer today for myself and for any who struggle with self-control of their mouth:

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” 

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