"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. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." James 3:9-12
Being a writer, I happen to enjoy words, which is probably a good thing! :) Some words are just fun to pronounce and say - like plethora, ostentatious and hyperbole. I often do better to put my thoughts down on paper instead of speaking them. I feel I can better convey through the written word what is on my heart. When I go to talk, I always seem to fall short of what I had hoped to say.
In my devotional today it said, "As we communicate with other people, our words show what's in our heart. The words we speak can be a balm for the weary, healing for the hurting, and comfort for the sad; or our words can dig into people's lives and leave ugly wounds and scars that take lots of effort to repair."*
This thought has been on my heart today. I have been contemplating my friend that said that every day she has my name written on her calendar so she remembers to pray for me. That means so very much to me. Even more meaningful is the words of Isaiah 49:15-16, "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me." What a tremendous thing to know that my name is engraved on God's hand. He will never forget me!
When faced with difficult challenges and situations we need to be careful in how we respond. I try and remember to utter a quick prayer before responding, and ask God to guide my words and tongue. I'm not always successful, but strive to be. Today I happened to make a right choice. I can't help but wonder if I was able to be gentle, because of my choosing to focus on God this past week or so.
One thing I struggle with is that I usually do not respond verbally, but often hold things inside. I have been this way since I was a little girl. Perhaps it's part of not wanting to make waves. I am not one to confront, even when it tears me up in the process. I feel that part of my health issues have been from internalizing the various stresses that I have experienced this past year. I'm in the process of learning when I need to speak up and say something, and also when I just need to choose to give the situation over to the Lord and trust Him to work. It isn't always easy, and I am still in the process of finding the answers.
I take hope in these words of Jesus, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." Matthew 14:27
*Beside the Still Waters January/February 2010 (Volume 15, Issue 1) - February 4, 2010 written by John Lehman