I am not even tempted to use foul language. Commonly used words that are not even considered curse words (like stupid or crap) are offensive to me, but just because I choose to eliminate certain words from my vocabulary doesn’t mean that I’m exempt from the implication of this passage.
They say that confession is good for the soul, so maybe someone will benefit from my honesty…
Just this last week I got in my car after what I thought was a successful visit to a Sprint store, and my daughter says, “Mom! You were kinda mean to that guy!”
Not my favorite moment of the day, because this pretty innocent remark sparked a defense so strong that had they called in the most high-profile attorney, I’m pretty sure I could have taken him on single-handedly!
I knew that I was firm and straight-forward in dealing with the salesman–but mean? NO WAY! I’m pretty easy-going by nature and try to give people grace, but sometimes when it’s business, you have to be confident of what you want so as not to be taken advantage of, right?
Then why did I go to bed that night feeling like a storm was brewing in my heart? I prayed and asked The Lord to give me wisdom… And I was ABSOLUTELY convinced that I had not been mean to that Sprint guy!
It’s not the Webster’s definition, but I’ve often heard this and believe that it’s true:
WISDOM: seeing things from God’s perspective
Sometimes when I am reading my Bible, a verse will just jump right out at me– and it should have come as no surprise that the very next morning, I “just happened” to read these verses:
I could have argued my point– that I wasn’t mean… but that wasn’t the lesson God was trying to teach me….
The whole time I’m reading these verses, trying to grasp what I was supposed to learn, my little dog Zizi was scratching me with her paw, trying to get me to play–to the point that it got annoying. After futile attempts to get her to stop, I gave her a few minutes of attention and she calmed down enough for me to resume my study. I patted her head and said,
“Zizi, I like it so much better when your nice!”
It wasn’t a lightning bolt, but it sure was a “light bulb moment”. In the exact seconds it took for me to say it, the Light of Truth revealed Himself to me.
He likes it better when I’m nice.
I like me better when I’m nice. I’m sure other people like it better when I’m nice, too. AND, I’m absolutely sure that others will only see His light in me when I’m treating them the way Jesus would… nice.
Is it really so hard, just to be nice? I may not have been mean, but I sure could have been nicer. In his book, Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby says,
“God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.” pg. 37
No wonder this was a light bulb moment. God answered my prayer for wisdom, and revealed Himself:
Through my daughter, my dog (circumstances), and through His Word.
How thankful I am today that He heard my prayer for wisdom and that He revealed Himself again. And last but not least, how thankful I am for the peace that comes when we ask for forgiveness.
When’s the last time you openly shared a time of failure? Maybe not as public as this, but one that could only bring complete freedom through confession? It can be painful, but the result is cleansing. Many of our sins are between us and God–and should stay that way– but sometimes our sin involves others that would benefit from an apology or admission of guilt. Being honest with ourselves and God breaks down that barrier that sin erects. If confession is good for the soul, then maybe I’m not the only one out there needing a little heart check (or in this case a mouth check!)
Is what’s pouring out of your mouth the bitter or the sweet?