Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sticks & Stones

Do you remember the old saying we learned while growing up?
"Sticks & stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."

Yeah, right!  Who came up with that saying anyway and is it really true?  Not hardly!

Quite possibly you are a victim of cruel, harsh words from the time you were a child.  When someone called you a name or even implied something bad about you; didn't it hurt?  How easy was it for you to forget those words or do they still ring clear in your ears?  Some words may have wounded you so badly that it has damaged your self esteem and possibly hindered you from the very calling God has placed on your life.

Or maybe you actually resort to name calling; tearing a person down until they are knocked out cold emotionally.  Perhaps that person offended you in some way and the only way you know how to respond is by lashing out with hurtful remarks or names; which still doesn’t make it right.

It’s easy to know when I’ve been offended; and much more difficult to see when I’m the offender.  Unfortunately, I can relate very well with both scenarios.  But in the last few months, the Holy Spirit has chastised and convicted me of how I respond to someone in the heat of anger.  And it’s not always a pretty picture.

God’s is very clear about the words that come out of our mouth.  Did you know that we actually have the power of life and death just with the use of our tongues?  It’s true!   In Proverbs 18:21 it tells us that “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

And the Lord wasn’t just talking about the unbeliever.  Oh contraire, my friend!  He was speaking to those of us that call Him our Lord and Savior.  Don’t believe me? Read it in James 3:9, where it says “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.”

And it’s very easy to justify ourselves by saying, “It’s just the way I am” or “I really didn’t mean anything by what I said or called that person.  They are just words.”  Not so fast brothers & sisters, for you see, God removes that excuse from our lips as well by digging deeper within us; our hearts.  In Luke 6:45 we read, “ A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” 

Simply put; whatever is in our heart will eventually come out.  So the truth is; it’s really a heart issue.  Ouch!  The bad remarks and bad names are buried in our hearts, waiting to come out at the next person that crosses our paths the wrong way.  Not a good thing and definitely does not please the Holy Spirit! 

If you can relate, don’t be discouraged. Rejoice in knowing the Lord loves us enough to reveal our sins and even shows us a way to fix it.  But it does take willingness from you to heed to the Holy Spirit and requires you to be completely honest with yourself.  Simply take a moment before God; be honest with Him and confess your sins; then sincerely ask the Lord for His forgiveness.  True repentance will start the healing process.  If possible, take the next step and apologize to those you’ve offended; even if you think they deserved it.  Then make it a habit to pray scriptures like Psalm 51:10, “Create, in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” If your heart is clean before God; the fruits of the Holy Spirit will flow freely from your lips.  (But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Galatians 5:22-23)

It doesn’t get any simpler than that folks!

Be blessed my family & friends and walk in the Lord’s total favor!
Cyndy Bagaglia-Wood

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