I love that God loves us just the way we are, but I am especially glad that He loves us so much that He dosen't leave us there. Like the good parent that He is, He is always teaching, stretching and growing me to become more a reflection of Jesus. And like that good parent, if I don't get it with the first hint, He'll repeat it. Again and again. He'll even, if I still don't get it, let a consequence happen. Oh yes, He will.
So lately, I've been coming face to face with the way I react. First a few months back, I came across a children's book about letters being spoken out of the character, floating around in the air and then becoming words. A subtle hint, to be sure. I didn't get it.
So then in the past couple weeks Jennifer at Snapshots started a weekly series where she posts on changing bad habits in her life. September's focus is on, can you believe it, the tongue!
Then I go to Katrina's and what is she talking about? None other than who gets your best words!
Then over at Laurel's place what's she talking about? Tone of voice and sarcasm!
And then a fella we know, who just speaks whatever comes to his mind at the moment said something to me that really got my goat.
Okay, I'm not so thick-headed that I can't see a pattern here, Lord. You're dealing with me about my words and what I say, right Lord? Okay, you'd like to me act in wisdom and grace and mercy with my words rather than react out of immediate emtion. Ya, Ya, I get it. Forgive me for my quick words that bring hurt rather than mercy. Help me act with Your Nature rather than with my humanness and out of bad habits. Help me to be a reflection of Jesus in my speech.
And then yesterday, just in case I was a little unsure of where the Lord was leading me, this falls out of my bible:
"Watch you thoughts..They become your words.
Watch your words...They become your actions.
Watch your actions...They become your habits.
Watch your habits...They become your character.
Watch your character... It becomes your destiny.
This is what I love about God. He dosen't just show you what is wrong with you. He shows you how to change. The very first words in this quote was watch your thoughts. We've been doing a study with some ladies on our thoughts. And the first step in changing our thoughts is to get in the Word on that area and away from those influences that are putting the wrong thought processes in to your mind.
"Do not be conformed to this world - this age, fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs. But be tranformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind - by its new ideals and its new attitude - so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]." Amplified BibleThen the Lord gives us the ability to do this by His Holy Spirit. By seeking Him and relying on His strength and His Word I am able to change what He is telling me to change. Sometimes it happens quickly. Sometimes by much prayer, effort and laying down myself over a long period of time. But I know that the change can happen. I've seen it my life and other's lives. So I know He won't leave me floundering.
So I guess it's time to get to work on this speech business.
"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person."