Do you ever get tired of failing at the same thing over and over again? It seems like I do this again and again. I find myself wishing I was more original. I desire to walk a different path.
I have been blatantly reminded that I have a mouth that likes to speak evil. My mouth has been accustomed to following certain pathways, and it's very hard to train it to go a different way.
I should be happy that I'm making progress, but to me progress is often measured by perfection, unfortunately. Am I being perfect today? Well, then I must be making progress. Did I fail today? Oh, I guess that means I'm not moving forward.
Both are lies. My pastor likes to quote, "Progress not perfection" on a consistent basis. I need to be reminded daily of this. I will never be perfect. I will continue to fail. That doesn't mean I'm not moving forward to my goal. Even if it means I'm moving one inch at a time that is progress.
I was having a rather heated discussion with my husband. We weren't arguing; we were talking about something dealing with a friend of mine. Sometimes I get so passionate about things; I blow off steam with my husband. My mouth was a like a volcano erupting. The words were spewing all over the place and they had the potential to burn. I was worked up, and I didn't try to restrain my thoughts or feelings.
I never thought about the fact that my children were playing in the room joining us. I was focused on the feelings at hand. Gabriel interrupted me, "I'm really confused. Isn't she supposed to be your friend? Because you are talking bad about her, and I don't think you should do that when you are friends."
It felt like he threw a glass of freezing cold water at my face. My fire was out. I wanted to explain to him that what I was doing was okay; that I was just sharing my feelings with my husband. I couldn't get an excuse to come out of my mouth. Everything I wanted to defend fell flat. I was speechless. What could I say to him to make him understand?
The spoken word is powerful. Words have the potential to build you up, or tear you down.
"Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose." Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)
Sometimes our words can be dripping with venom.
"Venom is the general term referring to any variety of toxins used by certain types of animals that inject it into their victims by the means of a bite, sting or other sharp body feature. Unlike poison, which is ingested or inhaled, venom is usually delivered directly into the lymphatic system, where it acts faster."
In the dictionary it also defines it as "feeling a need to see others suffer".
This venom we deliver cannot be taken back and it is quick to kill. In most cases with our words death does not always come, but deep pain instead.
I want my words to be dripping with sweetness, full of life that will bear fruit. I want them to grow into something worthwhile and life-changing.
"The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!
My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?
Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor." James 3:8-18 (The Message)
God, please forgive me. I am resolved to treat everyone with dignity and honor in my speech whether I'm alone, or with another individual. I want my words to be sweetened with life, not pain and death. Show me how to live wisely and humbly. Thank you for pursuing me with unfailing love all the days of my life.