Saturday, February 12, 2011

Burning down the house

Have you ever had something come out of your mouth - then look around and wonder who actually spoke those nasty words?

Have you ever been shocked by saying something you didn't even know you were feeling?

Do you ever get "feedback" from your spouse on what you just said (and I don't mean positive, warm fuzzies.)

Well - all of the above happened yesterday morning.

It started innocent enough, then BAM! A comment emerged from my mouth and the smoke alarms went off because my tongue had set the room ablaze.

Worst part is, at first, I wasn't even sorry.

Because I couldn't lay down in my bed any longer, I decided to have some much needed quiet time. It took awhile of praying and reading to realize just how wrong I was. It isn't that what I said wasn't true. It was all in my delivery.

I find I am on the receiving end of this type of "cold hard truth" from others all the time. Lately it has been from people I don't know very well. And I handle it gracefully. But if it happens to come from someone in my family, I immediately bristle and get upset.

Like I said, it took awhile for me to get to this point of realization, so sure was I in what I said to to be right. But is Dr. Phil says, "Would you rather be right or be happy?"

So, I looked up "mouth" in the concordance of my Bible.

Then conviction hit me like a ton of bricks.

It started with Psalm 17:3. Yikes, I could not say my mouth had not transgressed because I knew I'd launched a dagger straight at the other person.

The Apostle James knew about the power of the tongue. He and his other brothers and sisters had once launched quite a few daggers of their own at their older brother - Jesus. In James 3:6, he attributes the tongue to being able to set fire to your life.

And who hasn't, especially in marriage, launched some embers that come up blazing?

After repenting the fact that I had, in fact, caused someone in my close family to hurt - I asked what could be done about my problem. How in the world am I supposed to go about living in a way that speaks, not just the truth, but only using words in love - and when necessary?

(That was the key yesterday - I could have just kept my mouth shut...but here we are.)

I found the answer in Psalm 40:3.

You see, if I seek it, I will find that instead of nasty comments, I will sing a song to The Lord. He put that ability in me, through His Spirit. I can sing His praises in the way I speak and treat other people. I can show people how much I love Him by living it out.

Then I thought - yes that is all well and good but what does that song SOUND like??

The Lord made it clear. I often think of Galatians 5:22-23, the list of the fruit of the Spirit as something I should be able to see. Apparently, people should be able to HEAR the fruit of the Spirit too.

There it was. The music and lyrics of this song to The Lord are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

It could look like a more loving tone, versus controlling, with my children. A kinder answer (or none at all) with my husband. There is no limit, or law, on how much love I can speak.

I desire to expand the spiritual and emotional territory in my home. To do that, I must practice what I've been preaching here. The first step was reconciliation through an apology. The next step was to ask that The Lord would keep giving me the desire, ability, strength and courage to sing this type of song, rather than the disharmonious sounds coming out of my mouth prior.

And when that happens, it will be music to everyone's ears!

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