I had just finished my coffee and time of devotions, and before I got started with the day’s work, I went down to the basement to lift a quick set of weights.

Janis had been on a cleaning blitz, and I noticed that the basement was particularly tidied up since the last time I had been down there, and it brought a smile to my face. She really had worked hard on it. There were neat stacks everywhere, things were put away, goodness she had even cleaned the cat litter, and that’s my job.

As I set up the weights, I thanked God for my wife and asked him to bless her day. It was a nice, warm-fuzzy moment – until I saw that the mirror on the wall was gone. Any weightlifter understands that it’s tough to lift weights without a mirror. And don’t misunderstand: it’s not that you want to look at yourself – it’s really to be able to see if someone comes up from behind you to scare you. You don’t want to be scared and drop a weight on your foot.

A cloud blew over that sunny moment I’d been having. “Now where did that silly woman put my mirror?” I asked myself. I looked around and couldn’t find it. The cloud became bigger and darker, started to mushroom like one of those big, mountainous thunderheads. The more I looked, and the longer I couldn’t find it, the more ticked off I was getting.  Lightning was now going off in my head.

One of the reasons we call the day of his death Good Friday is because of the goodness Jesus brings to birth in our hearts when we accept his sacrifice.

After ten minutes of scrounging around, at last I found it – in the garbage can, broken into pieces. She must have knocked it off the wall while she was cleaning. That’s when the Lord intervened with a cuff to the back of my head.  “Hey nimrod – how ‘bout you breaking the stovetop last Thanksgiving. I think that cost a little more than your precious ten dollar mirror.  Don’t you dare get angry at her. You can see how hard she was trying.”

I’d never had the Spirit of God call me a nimrod before, but there it was. Thankfully, I received the Lord’s rebuke, repented for my trying to give way to the dark side of my personality, went and lifted weights and before long, all the warm fuzzies had washed back in, just as before.

Now you need to understand something. There was a day in my life when there was no turning back from that storm that was brewing inside of me. There was a day when in my own stupidity and selfishness, I would have opened both barrels on Janis when she got home. Even though in the grand scheme of things it was really nothing at all, I would have found a way to squash her and make her feel wretched.

I’m not claiming perfection by a long shot – there’s a real beast in me that’s alive and well, the Bible calls it my sin nature. And Janis and I continue to miss the mark with each other over and over again.

But Jesus Christ is also alive and well inside of me, and as I have learned to submit to his leadership in my life, he has helped me bring to heel many of these ugly things inside of me. In the school of holiness I’ve advanced – maybe from first grade to third or fourth, but it is a moving forwards.

Jesus died for our sins we are told. One of the reasons we call the day of his death Good Friday is because of the goodness he brings to birth in our hearts when we accept his sacrifice. In this week’s worth of devotions we’ll unpack how that transformation happens.

Now go and give someone you’ve mistreated recently a hug and ask them to forgive you and ask God for help in doing better.

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