Maybe someone can make sense of this. I had three different scripture verses open today and as I clicked through them I found that, in an odd way, they were related:
Psalm 39: 1 I said to myself, “I will watch what I do
and not sin in what I say.
I will hold my tongue
when the ungodly are around me.”
2 But as I stood there in silence—
not even speaking of good things—
the turmoil within me grew worse.
3 The more I thought about it,
the hotter I got,
igniting a fire of words:
4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.”
Ephesians 4: 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
Romans 3: 12 All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one.”[d]
13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
So, why did these strike me as related? Am I the one speaking too much, or not speaking enough? Is my talk, “foul, like the stench from an open grave”, or am I speaking the truth in love?
Am I both?
Yes, that’s probably it. When my emotions lead the conversation, I can see where “Snake venom drips from (my) lips.” I can see where I’ve hurt people, wounded friendships and damaged a confidence. Yet, when I remember to Whom I belong, what I am constantly being taught and reminded, when rebuke and correction are done out of prayerful consideration and an appreciation of the other persons stance or views, then I “will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ . . .”
I am the viper and the victor; the serpent and the savior; the open grave and the open arms; the liar and the lover. I am all those things because I am merely a sinner saved by grace.
My Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me to be more mindful, respectful and understanding of those who’s views may be different from my own. Help me to be more mindful of how You would speak to them, what you would show them, what you would say . . . if anything at all. Quench my desire to correct when my words are led by nothing more than my own emotional fire. Help me to be wise in what I say, and help me to be wiser still in what I don’t say. May all these things come through you, your will and your timing. Amen