Guarding the mouth
The mouth of a fool
Lips of the righteous
The faithful spirit that conceals matters
Then I flipped over to James and read the verse above. The tongue is compared to the rudder of a ship being able to guide a large ship even in the fiercest of winds. It is like an ember that causes great forest fires. It can tame wild animals, but cannot be tamed itself!
"That was good stuff." I thought. "I am learning a lot and getting some great reminders through the Word tonight." (pat on the back for my faithfulness)
The next morning I woke up and read a blog on Words. Jennifer at Sweet Blessings included the words of her favorite song by Hawk Nelson, Words.
Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don't wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
Words can build us up
Words can break us down
Start a fire in our hearts or
Put it out
Great song, right? I hear this song all the time and I often make this my prayer as I listen and sing along.
My morning devotions ended and as I was putting my coffee cup in the sink I flipped over my calendar for the day. I read
"Words are powerful, aren't they?. . . . The very representation of God in our lives is often manifested in our words."
Okay! So as an English teacher I love some good figurative language and can recognize literary elements when I read. But I was getting a nudge that there was some foreshadowing going on in my own life. So I began praying that my own words would be guarded. As I went off to work I prayed that I wouldn't say something that I shouldn't to one of my students.
The day went well. Then in the evening my husband wanted to spend some time with me. It was like a date! So back to the coffee shop I went.
And that is when it happened! I said something I shouldn't have. In fact I said a few things I should have kept to myself. He was not happy and I don't blame him. The date did not go well. He got defensive; I got defensive. And the conversation turned into a "discussion." Which is a nice way of saying an argument when you are in a public coffee shop.
We parted ways and I felt like Peter. Jesus told him that he was going to deny his Lord 3 times before the rooster crowed. I felt a warning from the Spirit earlier that day, too. The warning said, "Be careful with your words today." But by the end of the day I had forgotten the warning. I did not guard my tongue. It was not tame!
No pat on the back that night.
As I drove off alone, I was reminded once again that I am not perfect.
I stumbled in word and when things like that happen, I have to fight hard to let go of how I feel about myself and my failures, and receive the grace offered to me, not only from God, but also from my husband.
In I Corinthians 12:9 the Lord says to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
Grace is a free gift that we often fight against, feeling not worthy to receive. It takes me awhile to recover, to open up and receive grace and love when I hurt someone, especially when it is from the one I hurt. But I believe in my Savior, Jesus Christ and I receive the salvation He offers. And His Word clearly says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast." Eph. 2:8-9
Yes, I am not perfect, but the Word says I am saved by grace. And so are you! It is a Truth we know, but don't always let sink in. So whatever imperfections are staring you in the face today, close your eyes and grab on to this Truth. This Christian life can be a roller coaster ride and grace will get you back on the tracks when you derail.
Blessings to you!