I was always a strong-willed child. My mother used to say I should pause before I so freely spoke my mind. She had the gift of restraint…me, not so much. As the years have passed, I like to think the Lord has helped me to develop that very important spiritual gift of self-control. It’s a work in progress.
These days, I must confess, have caused me to bite my tongue on numerous occasions, as quick responses want to fly out in reaction to current events. The more I reflect, however, the more I realize from the moment I chose to give Jesus control of my life, the more I acknowledge that his control includes my tongue. James had some pretty harsh words about this relatively small part of our anatomy:
We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check…All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness…My brothers, this should not be.
I have heard many a person who calls themselves Christian say, “Speak the truth in love.” While I may hear truth, I do not see the love. If love is not the motivation behind what I want to say, then I should remain quiet. That doesn’t mean I cannot share my opinion or give correction, but it does keep me in check as to my attitude and purpose in doing either.
Do these days we live in surprise me? No. They will continue to grow dark, and evil will increase. It’s not just happening in the USA, but around the world. The question is, how will we (who call ourselves Christ followers) respond? What do I have to prove by getting angry, squaring my chin, calling others out for “their” behavior?
Ask yourself this question: “Have I lost focus on the Kingdom because of the fights in the street?” If the answer is yes, then Satan is winning. I will finish this post and go to my small Arabic Baptist Church where EVERY Wednesday night all we do is pray. I love our time together. We are not many, but it doesn’t matter to me (though God may be disappointed). I never return home regretting that I spent a solid hour in prayer with the Body of Christ. We pray for our country, we pray for our church, we pray for God to continue to do amazing things among us. He does not disappoint.
What do I have to prove? Only to my Lord that I have been faithful. He requires nothing less. So, I’m learning to hold my tongue. What about you?
Grace and Peace