Tuesday, September 26, 2006

When God Puts His Finger On Something

You know, sometimes, when God is trying to get something across to you, everywhere you turn there it is in your face again? Well, that's been happening to me lately all over. And the subject (insert heavy sigh) is the way I speak. If you knew me in "real" life, you would know that sometimes I react purely out of an immediate, gut reaction or emotion. I don't always take the time to take a second and actually, uhm, think, before I open my mouth and I let whatever I'm feeling come out. And then once, it's floating around out there, you can't stuff it back in and start again.

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 Bible
Then 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."


aggiejenn said...

The Lord has been smacking me upside the head lately everywhere I turn about trust. Isn't He amazing like that? When something needs to change, He gets our attention any way He can!! Thanks so much for this post.

aggiejenn said...

by the way, I just finished Divine in two days...you're going to love it!

Barb said...

I'm certainly familiar with this one. My careless words got me in trouble recently as you know. The worst part was knowing my words hurt someone. I've been called on my tone of voice all my life. So obviously I can still do some work on this. It's a constant battle. But just like you said, our Father is patient and will teach us the same lesson over and over until we get it and if it takes us too long to get it, there will be consequences.

Beautiful post and something I needed to read. Again. Sigh....

lrlwreath said...

Great post. So many times in my life, things come flying out of my mouth and I want to just stop and yell "RE-do" like they do in kids games. But in life, and with our word there is no "re-do", there is no stuffing it back into our mouths. Oh how I dislike that. God has worked with me and continues to do so. I try to make the conscience effort to think before it comes out, and try to make sure it is worded properly.

I always tell the Lord "I am a 2 by 4 girl, if you want me to get something you need to hit me with a 2 by 4" =))

Jennifer said...

Yes, I'm well aware of the being clunked over the head thing. I loved your sayings that came out of your Bible. It's so true that it's an outside in thing. I'm going to try to focus on some of the inward disciplines next.

Katrina said...

Aren't you glad that God doesn't give up on us until we "get it"? It works the same in my life - He orchestrates things so that I am hearing the message/lesson everywhere I turn!

So true what you said about thoughts. If I could get a grip on my thought life and "self-talk," I have a feeling that everything else would go a whole lot better, too.

Great post, Susanne!

Blessed Assurances said...

We are in the same boat! It's hard, is it not? Pray for me and I will pray for you! I am off to keep my mouth shut!

Melanie said...

I have this same issue. Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement.

Barb said...

Hi Susanne,

I stopping back in real quick to tell you how much I appreciate the remark you left on my "get your blog act together" post. It's hard to make those kinds of tough decisions so it's encouraging to me to know people understand. So thank you. And I'll be back. Promise. :-)

MugwumpMom said...

And it is God who both wills and enables it in you. He is so good! Great post. I was getting smacked with that one a few weeks back too. Now I'm getting smacked with self control..sort of similar...kinda . Anyway, thanks for the valuable reminder

momrn2 said...

In James chapter 3 he talks about "taming the tongue". I have known for some time this was an area to work on...I appreciate the reminder!!

Back to the task of taming...

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

Oh yeah - I need this post - today and everyday!!! I am so bad about taming my tongue. Why I can't remmber to stop and think aobut the consquences of what I am going to say, I do not know. So thanks for a very helpful, challenging and encouraging post! :)

as for my son - I know - isn't he a riot. everyday he says things so amazing it either cracks me up or leaves me stunned.

owlhaven said...

Me too.


Mary, mom to many

Dianne said...

I'm with you on the thought thing. That's something I've really been made aware of lately.

Shalee said...

Most of this post matches so perfectly with my post yesterday. I think we were on the same wavelength...

You nailed it, Susanne. It's all up to us how our words will be a comfort or a distress to others, as well as to ourselves.

PastorMac's Ann said...

He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it. (Phil. 1:6)

Thanks for sharing. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, Leslie over at Lux Venit had a similar post here.

I love the way God works. His timing is perfect!

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

Wonderful post and excellent reminder!

Janice said...

Okay I was just reading though you blog and this really spoke to me. Yes I know how when God is trying to tell you something and your hear it every where you go. It maybe through other people or a book you read. That is the way it has been for me lately. This verse came to me in the last couple of weeks and hit home with me. Thanks for sharing that.

Isaiah 30:21
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."