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Encouragement for Today - June 11, 2012


Wendy Blight

June11, 2012

Did I Really Say That?
Wendy Blight

"Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

I had just cleaned my kitchen ... everything perfect and in its place ... counters shining, stovetop sparkling. And then it happened. Within moments of completing this labor of love my husband walked through the door.

I should have been thrilled, but I wasn't. I knew what was coming. He was home for lunch and was going to create one of the gourmet sandwiches he loves to make. All I could think about was the grease that would soon be on my freshly polished stove and dishes that would soon fill my sink.

My mind went right to the mess he was about to make in my freshly cleaned kitchen. I couldn't stand it, so I launched into a series of instructions:

"Please don't make a mess. I just cleaned."

"Please put your dishes in the dishwasher."

"Please wipe your crumbs off the counter."

"Please clean the stove I spent an hour scrubbing."

I was polite. Did you count my "pleases?" I just have a way I like things to be done in my kitchen ... my way.

I saw the look on his face. I knew what he was thinking: You have got to be kidding me. Did she really just say that? Why did I even come home for lunch?

I realized I was nagging. I knew I was being controlling. And this wasn't the first time.

Often after I speak such words, I find myself asking, Did I really just say that?

When I make such big deals out of minor things it brings resentment and discord. It's wrong. Yet sometimes it feels like I just can't help myself.

But when I get in God's Word, I am inspired to change. I want to stop being a control freak. I promise myself no matter what—dishes in the sink, crumbs on the counter, grease on the stove—I won't say anything.

It could be hours or days later when the opportunity comes again, and I blow it once more. Within minutes, the words start spewing.

I'm convinced my way is best. Deep inside, I know I should not be this way, but then I hear that voice of justification: "It's just who I am."

The truth is, it is not who I am. It is who I am used to being.

But it's not who God wants me to be. In fact, His Word tells me exactly how He wants me to respond with my speech. My words should be:

"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." Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

"A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." Proverbs 29:11 (NIV 1984)

"Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

This can so hard to do on our own! Yet God enables us to walk in obedience to these scriptures through the power of His Holy Spirit. He will mold us and make us more like Him. And on those days when we feel as if there is no way we can speak kindly to others, let's remember His Word says we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13).

When we quiet our hearts. When we open His Word instead of just opening our mouths. When we approach Him with a heart of surrender. When we choose to submit to His ways instead of our own ....

That is when God will do His work and help us tame our tongue. And the next time we find ourselves asking, "Did I really just say that?" I'm praying it will be because we responded with patience, kindness and gentleness that is evidence of His work in us.

Dear Lord, help me to tame my tongue. Make my heart tender to Your Word. Guide me into all Truth. Enable me through the power of Your Holy Spirit to speak gentle, edifying, self-controlled, compassionate words of life. Thank You, Father, that You are faithful and will do what You promise. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
This lesson was taken from Wendy's e-book Bible study All Things Wise and Wonderful: Applying God's Word in Everyday Life.

Click here to visit Wendy's blog today to enter to win a copy of her e-book Bible study, All Things Wise and Wonderful: Applying God's Word in Everyday Life.

30 Days to Taming Your Tongue and accompanying Workbook by Deborah Smith Pegues

Reflect and Respond:
Keep a journal or mental record of your words this week. At the end of the week, honestly examine the words you have spoken.

Apply the truths you have learned today and take one baby step toward changing your speech this week.

Power Verses:
Proverbs 12:18, "Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing." (NLT)

Proverbs 10:11a, "The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain." (NLT)

© 2012 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

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