Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tongue Trust

Never trust your tongue when your heart is bitter.
James 1:19-20  "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."

             Have you ever heard 'Sugar coat your words because you might have to eat them'?  We are often too quick in our reactionary speaking and too slow in our thoughtful thinking.  Ecclesiastes 7:9  "Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."
         " It is our duty rather to hear God’s word, and apply our minds to understand it, than to speak according to our own fancies or the opinions of men, and to run into heat and passion thereupon.  Whenever matters of difference arise among Christians, each side should be willing to hear the other. People are often stiff in their own opinions because they are not willing to hear what others have to offer against them: whereas we should be swift to hear reason and truth on all sides, and be slow to speak any thing that should prevent this: and, when we do speak, there should be nothing of wrath; for a soft answer turns away wrath." [M. Henry]

             I read in the paper, ''If you have to swallow a frog, don't look at it too long.  If you have to swallow 2, then eat the big one first.  If you have to swallow 3, then consider why you are in the pond.''  I think these are very wise words.

            1 frog..... Instead of admitting our wrong readily, we often spend our time justifying it in our minds.  We think about all the reasons 'they' are wrong, but not our own.  Pride is often the biggest lump or frog in our throats.

             2 frogs... Sometimes we can just 'ribbit' out of control.  Proverbs 15;23 'A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!'  Be the bigger person by covering the broader ground first in your apology and then get specific.

             3 frogs.... Sometimes you have to get out of the circumstances that are drawing you toward negativity.  We must see how our choices and decisions have led us to the pond of bitterness and find our way out.  Don't let your emotions dictate your words.

             FROG..... Fully Rely On God

           "Whereas men often pretend zeal for God and his glory, in their heat and passion, let them know that God needs not the passions of any man; his cause is better served by mildness and meekness than by wrath and fury.”  When I read this, I thought of ministries that speak of condemnation, rather than grace and forgiveness as a source of hope.  We are all sinners, so may our words be a gentle leading to Christ and not a harsh judgement without hope.