– Monday Muse –
Dear One, I was annoyed. Ron and I were at a function, which included a dinner, a long dinner, an the behavior of one of the men at our table annoyed me. As I sat there, I wondered if Ron was also being bothered by it. If so, he did not show any signs of it.
On our drive home, as Ron was talking, I was only half listening, for I was mentally preparing to voice my complaint about our dinner companion. Just as I was about to speak, surprising questions were asked of me.
“What is your purpose?
“Would anyone benefit from your words?”
“Might Ron be led to think less of the person?”
Silently, I questioned the questioner: “What? God? What? Are you telling me that I should not talk to my husband about this?”
I sat in the passenger seat, dumbfounded. I had never considered that God’s teaching about guarding the tongue included my private conversations with my husband.
I was glad that Ron was listening to the Detroit Tigers, for I no longer wanted to talk. I needed to think. Is God telling me that the private conversations between my husband and I fall under the same teaching about ‘guarding the mouth,’ as it would if I was talking to anyone else? Really?
I thought through the three questions. The answers were not pretty. My purpose was to vent selfish displeasure, no one would benefit, and yes, my words would likely cause my husband to think less of the man.
So, I am to only share such criticisms with God, and with His help, seek to overcome harsh feelings? Okay, I think I understand; this must be yet another step in ‘controlling the tongue’ for godly obedience.
At that moment I wondered if there might be another unforeseen step to guarding one’s tongue. Time will tell.
The rest of the drive home, I fought the urge to tell Ron what I was thinking, but I did not do it. When we got in bed, I had to bite my tongue again. The next day, I still wanted to blurt out my feelings, but I did not. On and off, for the next week, or two, the urge to spew emerged, but each time it remained unspoken.
I was shocked at how difficult it was to keep still. But during the struggle, the blessings of guarding my tongue 24/7 became clear. The teaching, like most of the others, at first glance, had seemed prohibiting, but it was not long before I identified the blessings held within the obedience, and yes, even the freedoms within it.
I am now very grateful, for it is obvious that it pleases God, blesses my life, Ron’s life, and any subjects of my distress. Unkind thoughts breed more unkind thoughts, and steal from us the peace of God. “Dear Lord, thank you for another lesson on how to better serve You.”
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything
You do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
“In the conflict between Satan and the believer, God’s child
can conquer everything by prayer. Is it any wonder that
Satan does his utmost to snatch that weapon from the
Christian, or to hinder him in the use of it.”
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