Wednesday, July 17, 2013

taming the tongue

Words are powerful.  Through words, we have the ability to do so many things: to compliment a friend, to sing praises, to share secrets, to rejoice with others, to share stories, to pray.  Just as easily, though, our words can tear others down in a single snide remark or a sarcastic jab.  They can really hurt.  Words are powerful, powerful things.

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We've been going through a lot of "life changes" lately.  Steve is looking to me a lot for support and encouragement as we work through this stuff.  But I'm not giving it.  Instead, I find myself snapping at him about little things and finding ways to criticize.  I think it's a defense mechanism that I developed over the last year...but it's not biblical and is definitely not what a Proverbs 31 wife would do.
 
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:26 (esv)
 
So why do I keep using harsh words?  Sometimes I just know I'm right.  Sometimes I'm stubborn, other times tired and cranky.  Sometimes I'm protecting myself.  Sometimes I'm selfish.  And sometimes I just don't feel like being nice.  But each and every time, I'm simply choosing to sin over choosing to love.
 
It all boils down to this: we are called to show Christ's love to others... and that includes through our words.  When I'm in a bad mood, I can respond to Steve with anger or frustration - but in the end, will that help him be a better husband?  Closer to the Lord?  Better able to sort through all of this stuff?  Nope.  But if I can guard my mouth, speak kindly, and love through my words, I think I'd be amazed at what God could do.  So that's my prayer this week - to give grace with my words. 
 
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29 (esv)

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