Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!
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For the month of January, we’re taking a walk through some of the lessons God taught over 2016. Last week, consistency in the treatment of others our topic (you can click here to catch that podcast/post). This week, we’re focusing on “speech patterns or how we use our words. I would like to start with a story.
As a youngster, “Meche*” was blessed with scholastic ability beyond her peers and to the marvel and delight of many adults–well most of them. There was this one leader whom Meche was assigned to, that had an issue with this child. This leader openly criticized Meche about the silliest things, creating feeling of inadequacy, fear of making errors, speaking up, worry and low-esteem. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, Leader ended up breaking her little spirit.
Of course, Meche moved on from the leader and seemed okay, but in the back of her mind, she always felt inadequate, ugly and invisible, so in her mind, she needed to overcompensate by becoming a people-pleaser, no matter what the cost, including time, money, illicit activity, giving gifts, etc. To that end, Meche attracted the wrong type of people into her life for decades. After having her heart ache one too many times, Meche, (who had repented and gotten baptized in Jesus name awhile back), decided it was time to give her heart to Jesus–and was filled with the Holy Ghost shortly thereafter and has been walking with Jesus ever since.
The story ended well, thank God! And yes, there were likely other factors that contributed to Meche’s issues over her lifetime. The fact remains that a person chose to deliberately and repeatedly verbally mistreat a child—and that choice negatively effected that child well into adulthood. We certainly praise God Meche got the healing and deliverance she needed in order to function properly–my question: Did that have to happen in the first place?
How do we speak to our “not so favorite” family members? What tone do we give the “ex”? Do we stop speaking for days or weeks to our spouses/loved ones when we do not agree? Do we label our kids with horrible names? How are we talking about the neighbor’s children? Do we retaliate intentionally and willfully? Verbally, pscyhologically or physically? Or do we rebel or say things in our hearts? Under our breath?
We did a series a #SpeechTherapy series last year and part of what we learned is that our the need to cut someone with our words is really steeped in a spirit of pride. I John 2:16 says that all that’s in the world is the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and the pride of life, and that DOES not come from God, so it comes from the enemy. Experience tells us that NOTHING good comes from Satan. Pride will tell you to “lay your Holy Ghost on the shelf” (really?) while you let her have a piece of your mind”. Or that you are justified in speaking sharply to her because of what they did to you. Or “don’t be a punk, cuss them out, so they learn their lesson.”
We all get irritated, angry annoyed, disappointed, frazzled and offended. These things are a part of life and the emotions that accompany are real! Where the power of the Holy-Ghost comes in, we control what we say and HOW we say it, versus letting our emotions control us to a point where we end up breaking someone’s spirit. Proverbs 12:18 says there are some that speak like the piercings of a sword but the tongue of the wise is health. In thinking back to last week’s lesson and how you’d like to be treated, which speech would you like? Swords or health? Right, health it is. I’d like it, so I have to speak it.
BCU Fam this is TOUGH one today!!! Let’s ask the Lord to bless us to remain prayerful and in the Spirit when we have to converse with someone who was offended us in some way. Even if we have to be direct or explain a wrong, we can still speak so that God is glorified. Colossians 4:6 reminds us that our speech should always be with grace and seasoned with salt, that we may know how to answer everyone. Have you tasted “graceless” unseasoned food? Was it palatable? Flavorful? Easy to go down? Most likely it was bland, tasteless and after a bite or two, you didn’t want it. See the correlation? It’s a challenge, but not impossible. Luke 1:37 says, with God nothing shall be impossible! and we can do ALL things through Christ that strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13). So now, with God’s help, let’s stock up the mind/heart with a healthy abundance of grace and salt. Amen? Amen!
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*Name has been changed and details omitted. Story retold with permission.