I should have known it was coming. After all, that is how God works in my life. I am so much like my children in the way that I usually need to be told something more than once before I get it.
So I shouldn't have been surprised when he read the verse. I know that I have heard the verse before but this particular week after all that God had already told me the verse just hit home...or hit me over the head is more like it.
Rewind to earlier in the week when my tongue had gotten the best of me. No cuss words or anything like that but I definitely didn't use all of my words in the most edifying and uplifting way that I could have. To be honest most day I don't put as much thought as I should into what comes out of my mouth.
Since you know that God has laid adoption on our hearts I am very passionate about it and have been studying all of the places in scripture where orphans are mentioned. Of course that led me to James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world". It is a great verse that is very specific about what God expects us to do for orphans and widows. But since I am married to a preacher who always reminds me to keep things in context I decided to read the verses around it. Would you believe that the verse right before it talks about the tongue. James 1:26 says "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless". My heart sunk...I felt the Lord speaking straight to me. What I say and how I say it matters. I can speak up for the fatherless all day long and even travel across the world to welcome a sweet little girl into our family but if I can't keep my tongue in check it is pretty much worthless.
So fastforward to that Sunday morning with me in lifegroup as our teacher gets up to speak. He is speaking on apologetics and being able to defend our faith. But something really jumps out a grabs my heart. He begins by reading out of Titus 2..."In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and
soundness of speech so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us."
Did you catch it? Soundness of speech. But then there was more...the real kicker. As we talked about what soundness of speech actually meant I was struck when he read Matthew 12:36 "And I tell this, you must give an account on judgement day for every idle word you speak".
There it was the final blow.
I was sickened as I sat and thought about all of the idle words in my lifetime. All of the times I was nervous and just started talking because I didn't know what else to do (this has really gotten me into trouble before). All of the times I have complained or argued, or talked ugly about someone. Truth be told I would rather not think about it...it hurts too much to come face to face with my sinfulness. But I know that God desires for me to be more like Him and to purge my life of my old ways.
Words are powerful. But then again, shouldn't we already recognize that. Genesis says that we are created in God's image. In that same book it says that God spoke the world into being. If His words are that powerful than our must carry quite a punch as well since we are made like Him.
So I have found myself being much more aware of my words. It has not been easy and I know it is something that I will have to stay on top of every moment. I will be honest and tell you that I have thought about just not talking at all...but I don't see that working very long either!:)
My prayer is that I can learn to have sound speech in every area, in every conversation.
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