Friday, June 19, 2015

My morning confession: Tongue-taming

For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.

But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. (James 3:2, 8-10 NASB)

Yep. Another detour. It's a morning confession. You may have thought that the post from yesterday, about not saying anything if you couldn't say something nice, was for you. It wasn't. It was for me. I read it several times, because I knew it was for me, but, before I could turn around, the day began to unfold.

So that I don't have to repent again for the many-ith time, all I will say is that I had repeated encounters with someone, and they did not go well. The first time, I managed to keep my cool but grumble to the Lord. The next time, I got tense. I was calm on the outside, but very upset on the inside, which is where God sees. That's the place that matters most. It went downhill from there. (You might not view this as downhill, but I do.) 

I grumbled all day long about the situation. I repented over and over again. Last night, as I reported in to my writing group with my daily word count, I realized that all the grumbling had severely affected my productivity. In my report, I wrote, "I need some time at the foot of the cross and an attitude adjustment." It was true. Finally, at the end of a long grumbly day, that's exactly where I went and what I received. After I dried my tears of repentance, I thought, "Why did I waste all that time grumbling when I could have left this at the cross?"

No one can tame the tongue except God, and it's quite a job. Maybe you're a little like me in this tongue problem, but let's take it to the cross and try to be done with it. No matter the situation, it is never the right thing to speak ill of someone. It is never the right thing to grumble to others about someone. It's never the right thing to hold onto our anger all day while we fret and fume. I know this from experience.

With all that said, I'm determined to be more faithful with the way I use my tongue today. I'm going to bless instead of grumble. I'm going to leave it at the cross, and I invite you to do the same. 

If we are disciples of Christ, we must do what He wants. Jesus is shockingly clear. Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. That translates into praying for the most aggravating, irritating person in your life. Pray until you love them. I'm doing that now. In fact, let's do it together. 

Just think what God could do with our sacrifice if we stopped grumbling and loved the most unlovely people in our lives. It would take a miracle of tongue-taming, of course, so let's give our tongues to the only Tongue-Tamer, who can transform our words and, through them, change the world.