Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Lord Knows What I Need

Yes, He does. Incredible how things turn out. After asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I began with my NIV women's devotional bible to study, beginning in Genesis. The second day, the devotional reading was by Gladys M. Hunt. At the bottom, it lists additional scripture readings. It showed James 1:13-15. By the time I turned to James, I had remembered the starting verse as 19 instead of I read:

"Everyone shoud be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires" I continued on to verse 26: "If anyone considers themselves religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on their tongue, they deceive themselves and their religion is worthless."

In a previous post, I had written how my tongue had gotten me into trouble. I have a very sharp tongue and can be downright hurtful, rude and nasty to the people I love. This was something that the Lord laid on my heart and I had begun to pray for. I wanted to be able to speak kindly to my Spouse and Mother, no matter how frustrated I got. It's one thing to admit that I am just like my Dad--my manner of speaking can cut like a knife, and hurt loved ones. I have always used the excuse (in my mind) that I am truthful and that I have the right to state my opinion. In fact, I have come to see that I have escalated from being opinionated to being hurtful. I argued with everything my spouse had to say. I realized after confessing this sin, that it had become a bad habit. I saw that I had become the opposite of what James is writing about. I was angry, frustrated and depressed. I was unable to get control over my emotions and would spew them out at any given moment. It caused bad feelings (even though I would apologize as soon as possible) between my spouse and I. The depression came from the anger turned inward because I was unable to control myself.

I started praying before reading the Word for insight. Each morning now, I read these verses and want to memorize them. With the help of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I have been able to stop comments from coming out. Slow to speak! When I pause and consider the comment I was about to make, I can see if it is argumentative or inappropriate. The first time I held a comment back, I started to cry from the effort of holding back and as my hubby tried to ask me why I was crying, I only cried more! I realized that I was trying to do it with my own power--the effort seemed overwhelming. With more prayer, the strength of the Lord lifted me up and the next two times I was able to keep silent.

Lord Jesus, my prayer today is that the Holy Spirit who dwells within me, guards my tongue. If I keep my eyes on you, Lord and rely on your strength to control my emotions, I can speak kindly and with love to everyone. All Praise to you Jesus!


Veronica said...

I can relate SO well to what you're saying! I too, get my directness from my dad, and I really have to watch my words lest people think I stay up nights sharpening my tongue. Not an appealing trait for sure. Let's pray for each other, okay?



Diana said...

"From the overflow/abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." That scripture reminds me that the true problem is our hearts. Our tongues are fires that are lit and fueled in our hearts. Not one person can change their own heart, even if they think they have. Only offering our heart to God will change it. He takes out the stone and replaces it with softness. And our minds. Paul says, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." When God shows us how much we are hurting people, it's His compassion for us in His forgiving us that reminds us to be kind to others.

One thing I do is try to isolate my fears and see if they are rational. Some are just out there! People and dogs get mean when they are afraid :) Some thoughts I have are: "People just won't listen to me and it's for their own good! It seems like they don't care about me at all! I need to convince them of my needs because being nice is obviously not cutting it." But the Holy Spirit is placing programmed responses to those things in my heart. So that I can say, "All my needs are met. My part is to love and practice allowing the fruits of the Spirit to bloom in me." I memorized them recently:

Self Control

Notice self control is last on that list. :) It's in Galatians. When I am displaying Kindness and Gentleness, especially, I know I am submitted to the Holy Spirit within me.

We be prayin!
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