Although this is my time of preference, it hasn't been feasible this year due to my longer hours and need for sleep. This creature of habit stepped outside of her box and instead of fretting over "when" I had my quiet time, I just prioritize taking it. Whether it is after everyone has gone to bed, during my lunch break, or all day on a Saturday ~ I am devoting time and energy to make sure I listen to God as he attempts to keep me in check.
This morning I thought about writing and posting my blog as I watched the coffee finished brewing. Yikes! Instead of what Scripture I would read, how I was thankful, or what praises I could write in my journal I thought about my blog. Reality check! I shook my head like a wet dog drying off on your freshly mopped floor and retreated to the comfy chair. Thank you Holy Spirit for keeping me in check.
Pastor Rick preached from the third book of James today with " Tongues of Peace" as the sermon title. In essence, we all know it is better to speak kindly and build others up but it wasn't his message so much that touched my heart and convicted me as it was my daughter and her creative genius.
I listened as Pastor shared the attributes of a tongue of peace:
*Wants to perpetuate God's love to others
*Submissive to the Holy Spirit
*Think of others first, not myself
As I made my notes, listened, and reflected I understood what he was saying while asking myself, "If I know this to be true, then why do I struggle so much with keeping my tongue in check?"
Almost on cue, "We are human. We are not perfect, only one man was perfect and that was Jesus. Only God can control the tongue." The Holy Spirit will act as our filter and lead us to speaking words of peace yet we need to obey His leading if we are going to reflect the man or woman of God we are to others.
Ask yourself, "Do you have a tongue of peace or of fire?" My honest answer is both. I strive to be one of peace, spilling buckets of water to put out the fires around me yet if I am not conscious (and sometimes when I am) then nothing but fire comes from my mouth.
While I am thinking this in my head I look over and see Mary's artistic, honest, and beautiful interpretation of my thoughts. "Thank you Jesus!" I asked her if I could have it to include with this blog. Reluctantly, she agreed.
Pastor talked about the example we are to those around us, especially our children. Inward, I know I am guilty and in need of a fire extinguisher for my tongue but to see it was the very thing my daughter illustrated...powerful.
Pastor's verbal illustration explained we each have two buckets of water to put out the fires in our conversation ~ will we offer water (peace) or gas (fuel) to the conversations we partake in? The answer should be the water of peace but because we are human, gasoline is sure to spill out time and again.
If we are listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying His direction, we are more apt to share water but then again, when we are distracted or have our buttons pushed (in just the right way), gasoline sprays out.
My personal prayer is to be more cautious with the words off my tongue and the tone in which I say them. May this be your prayer too.
Instead of modeling peace to a child, I let his fire be gasoline to a good morning. Why? I don't know and I still am unsure of how I should have responded other than to walk away, and sometimes I think this is a better course of action until only water can pour from our mouth. I made a mistake within minutes of the very lesson God touched my heart with. I love a good application example. So here I am this Sunday morning offering you a choice ~ water or fire? peace or dissension?
We are human and will make mistakes? What is your tone? When you respond, do people feel refreshed or burnt? Something to think on.