You’ve heard growing up is hard, right? Well, parenting isn’t easy either. And maybe not for the reason you’re thinking. We were driving in the car and a teen driver in a smaller car whipped in front of us then made a couple of other crazy maneuvers.

“Idiot!” I said. Really. I didn’t cuss. Promise.

“Mother!” came my daughter’s voice from the back seat.

“I’m sorry,” I said, knowing my children are highly sensitive to this type of ‘bad’ word. In our family, we don’t use the word stupid or idiot or any other derogatory word. Trying to justify my reaction, I added, “But that guy was driving in a crazy, dangerous way.”

“Mom,” my daughter who is 8 said, “you’re acting like Jonah.”

Ouch! Her comment was not meant as a compliment. I felt that zinger straight through my heart. She was right. We’d been studying Jonah for his unforgiving nature in her homework for school. Jonah, of Old Testament fame, was told by God to go to Ninevah and tell the wicked people there about God. No, was Jonah’s reply. The reason was not how it’s portrayed in the Veggie Tale movie. Jonah wasn’t scared. Oh, no. He thought the Ninevites deserved to be destroyed. He wanted them to be destroyed. He didn’t want to go tell them about God, have them repent and then receive God’s mercy. Nope. Fire and brimstone is what they deserved. And good riddance.

Not that I thought the crazy teen driver should be zapped or anything but my attitude toward him needed a little adjustment toward mercy. Not always easy when administered by my eight year old daughter.

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