I used to post occasionally about snippets from our worship services. I don't really know what happened, somehow I let those posts fall by the wayside. I was embarrassed to realize my last Sunday snippet post was in September of 2007. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to chat about daily happenings, all things running, food, recent reads, beauty and hair products, and of course TV shows and movies.
But I feel my blog has gotten a tad, oh, I don't know...shallow.
Maybe an old-fashioned bloggy house cleaning is in order.
So I've been pondering a few things lately. Musing. Mulling. Reflecting. Hopefully changing. Bringing the snippets back. (Take that JT.)
I've been thinking about the effects of our tongues. Mine to be exact. Do I use it for its best purpose? Do my words build up and encourage or do they criticize and tear down? Is my tone of voice kind and gentle or harsh and sarcastic?
"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." James 1:19
James goes on to describe the power of our tongues and the need to tame it in James 3:2-12 Verses 9 & 10 stand out to me: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."
Thankfully, I do not struggle with profanity or cursing (but I have plenty of other struggles and weaknesses), yet I do find myself falling victim to crude or inappropriate words or humor from time to time. Choosing the low road sometimes instead of higher ground.
"Do not let 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." Ephesians 4:29
Gossip, lying, rudeness, unkindness, and misuse of God's holy name are also misuses of our tongues. I think these habits can be so insidious they often take root before you realize you have a problem.
"Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Proverbs 4:24
As a mother of a young child I worry about what she is exposed to through TV and other media. We avoid certain children's shows because of sassy, disrespectful characters and dialogue. We monitor and limit viewing, but we haven't been bold enough to completely cut it out of our lives.
I worry about the impact and influence of media, but I also worry about MY own example and influence. Since a child is truly a video camera with legs, what does she record as Scott and I interact day to day? Do I speak to him with kindness and respect? Do I criticize him or praise him? Do I raise my voice in irritation or anger? Not only my words, but what is my tone of voice? Sometimes that says it all.
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1
So I've been pondering all of these things these last few days and have been praying for God to help me make the necessary changes in regards to my tongue.
"If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." James 1:26
I want my words to build up and not tear down; reflect God not the devil.
"Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. " Psalms 139:4
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalms 139:23-24
I realize I have shared a snippet about this very topic before. Hmm...it must really be important and something I truly struggle with. This week I am going to make a sincere effort, through prayer and practice, to tighten the reins on my tongue. I am curious to see the results by the end of the week. Do you struggle with controlling your tongue? Would you like to join me in this effort? Please do!