The Willful Tongue

My grandson and I were supposed to pick up my husband’s van from a body shop late this afternoon.  My grandson was willing to ride to the shop with me so he could bring it back.  His one stipulation was that he needed to get back in time to go to church. Of course, that law of nature if something could go wrong, it will was in effect.  The man didn’t have it ready, and if we waited on him, my grandson would be late for church.  We called my husband and told him the van would have to remain where it was for the night.  Lots of words and arrangements followed, but I stopped myself from laying a guilt trip on my grandson, and simply said, “You have ever right to follow your original plans.  We will just work this out; don’t worry about it.”

How many times do we want to vent our anger and frustration on others?  How many times do we want to argue a point so we will be in the best light?  If you are a little scrappy like I am, it is hard to remain silent, and walk away.  Or even harder, to say encouraging words that builds up the other person.  I knew my grandson didn’t want to disappoint us about the van, but he also wanted to be punctual in his plans.  I chose to justify his decision.  After all, it wasn’t an emergency.

We don’t always have to take up for ourselves.  God says He will do it for us.  At present, I am dealing with a person who has not been faithful in his dealings with me.  I have concocted several plans in my mind to make it right, but just didn’t feel good about any of them, even if I would be justified in exonerating myself.  I finally had peace when I believe the Lord spoke to me, “I will take up your case for you.”  Wow, I gladly lay the issue in His hands!  If God is working for me, I’m in pretty good shape.  Now, I just need to be patient and see how He works it out.

There are times when we need an advocate or a lawyer, but they will tell us to chose our words carefully.  Respect follows those who make this a habit.

“He who will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.” 1 Peter 3:10

The Spirit of God is greatly grieved when the words of our mouths do not edify or minister grace to those around us.  Ephesians 4:29-30

This second scripture give us a clue about the use of our tongue.  We should use it for the betterment of our neighbors.  Not to merely justify ourselves.  Sure, it feels good to let it all hang out and show others how justified we are, but it is self directed.  It can build walls and resentments.  On the other hand, softly spoken words of encouragement and support build bridges and other peoples self-worth.  The thoughtful person will put themselves in the shoes, the heart, the soul of another and discern what that person needs to hear, to feel about themselves, and then to say those words in love.