Monday, December 28, 2009

just words?

I have a few words I would like to say.  The problem is that I don't need to say them.  I was once again reminded today of an old conflict.  Five years ago the words I want to say would have been riddled with bitterness and a desire to hurt this person with my words as much as they have hurt me with theirs over the years.  Today the words I want to say are slightly different than the how I would have said them five years ago.  Today the words I want to say I would hope would be more of an accountability issue, hopefully more to open the eyes of the offender to help them see how often and deeply they have offended.  Well since my heart motives have changed, doesn't that make the words also now more acceptable? 

I don't think so.  I think palatable would be a better word than acceptable.  I could easily convince most of mainstream America and a not too shabby portion of those in church authority that my words that are in my heart are now correct.  Again, palatable but not acceptable.

See, I keep going back to this verse I have posted above my kitchen sink.  "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."  Eph 4:29. 

The words I want to say may help me but I don't think they will help the person I want to say them to.  It isn't unwholesome, but neither is it something that will benefit and build up that person.

Then I think back to highschool, memorizing the book of James.  Chapter 3 deals with the tongue and how we handle it. vs 5 "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."  I am aware of how words hurt.  Words have hurt me.  Words from the person I wish to say my words have hurt me.  But as the chapter continues in vs 9 "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."

I cannot praise my Father in heaven and yet curse this person who was made in the very image of the Father I so love! 

It seems deserved.  I could find a way to justify it, but that's all it would be, a justification.  I would blab my mouth and for an instant feel better, but then would feel horrible for the manner in which I spoke, a manner I know would be unpleasing to my Redeemer.

Or what about when the Psalmist said "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." (ps 19:14.)  The Word of God is very clear that the words that come out of our mouths are vitally important.  And not just the words, but the meditations of our hearts.  "For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."  (Luke 6:45)

I have words stored up in my heart.  It is only a matter of time before those words spill from out of my heart to my lips.  Right now, I reign in my tongue.  I know my words will bring more hurt not the restoration that I long for.  And right now, I wait on the Lord.  I will put my trust in Him.  I will bring my heart issues before Him and allow Him to deal with them.

As I wait on Him, I pray that the meditations in my heart will be pleasing to Him.  I pray that He will remove the yucky and leave me with a pure heart.  And until the day that my words are going to be beneficial to build up this person, I will hold my tongue.  I may end up going to eternity with my tongue still held.  I don't know. 

Maybe someday the day will come when this person could hear the words I feel.  Likely not though.  Maybe someday the Lord will bring change to that persons heart as He has done mine, when my words would actually bring accountability and restoration.  Now is not that time. 

Now I must continue to keep my heart bowed before a holy and righteous God, that my heart does not harbor unforgiveness or bitterness.  I must continue to renew my mind with His word daily so that the motives of my heart remain pure.  And I must reel in my tongue and not give it permission to rattle off everything inside my brain.  It's not easy sometimes, but it's worth it in the long run. 

This relationship has been damaged enough by words, words spoken by both of us involved.  There is no need to further the pain and separation by speaking words that will be neither uplifting, beneficial or healing. 

God help me to glorify you with my words, my thoughts and my actions!  It is only through your grace that I have any ability at all.


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