2016 Loopback | Our words: Do they hurt or heal?

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your the post.

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!

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes.

Thank you SO much for stopping by! God bless you, keep you and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

 

 

*Name has been changed and details omitted. Story retold with permission.

Series: Speech Therapy..the words of my heart.. (Part 6).

Hey BCU family!

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

Let’s review our anchor Scripture! Let the words of  my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14). Last lesson, we talked through some examples of idle words as Jesus warned us about in Matthew 12:33-37. Additionally, the book of James chapter 3 reminds us about how our tongues, as small as they are, are an  unruly evil and full of deadly poison. On top of that, we bless God and curse men with the same mouth and that really ought not to be. So, let’s wrap up #SpeechTherapy with some of the other idle words that can get is into trouble.

G.  Talking too quickly–He that answers a matter before he hears it it is folly and a shame to him (Proverbs 18:13).

Did you even stop to consider the victim and their side of the story? How many of us judge, jury and execute someone based on one-half of the story? Or on opinion? Or on how YOU understand it? In some cases, what you thought you saw? What you thought you heard? What if people made their decisions about YOU on what one half of the story? How many people have been wrongly accused and punished on partial info?  Case in point..
A good while back, my little podcast helpers, Jaz and Peanut were at my house and I came upstairs to find a drawing on my wall. Now, I do NOT think that’s as cute as others may—we have paper aplenty over here. Now, immediately Jaz says Peanut did it and he says no. Initially, it did look like Peanut’s handiwork and wall drawing is his style, so I started to scold him, BUT…the Lord stopped me, led me to question further and look closely at the picture and the detail…it turned about that Jaz, who is older and should have KNOWN better was the culprit! I almost took dessert from the wrong kid! James 1:19 says to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. This way, we can get the proper information and make sound decisions based on what God reveals.

H.  It’s not your story to tell. Yep, this is an area that all of us have struggled in from time to time, myself included. Let’s go to the Word of God.

A talebearer tells secrets, but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter (Proverbs 11:13).

Where no wood is the fire goes out, so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases. (Prov. 26:20)

Slanderer/whisperer/backbiter/–they all fall under the umbrella of talebearing. Some historical research revealed that a talebearer in Old Testament days. was equivalent to trader or merchant—a merchant carries/sells goods;  a talebearer brings AND carries information. Can someone say confidentiality? Moreover, Jewish law says all things are considered secret unless the person tells you otherwise. Gossip hurts three people—the teller, the hearer and the subject. So three things:

  1. As people confide in us, let’s keep the information to ourselves, rather than over dinner with family or friends. Refer back to Proverbs 11:13.
  2. We also need to stop receiving gossip and slanderous talk from others. Pray for a word of wisdom to share with the gossiper so that gets shut down AND FAST! You may lose a friend or two, but God knows how to work it out.
  3. Keep in mind that Romans 1:29-32 mentions among other things that whisperers, backbiters and malicious people AND those who take please in participating–no matter how trivial are will not enter the kingdom of God. No amount of information is worth losing your soul over.

Another thing the Lord brought to me was not just speaking verbally, but POSTING in this e-world we live in. We speak via posts.

I. Watch what you click and share.
There are so many stories about people and what’s going on with them, and it can draw us in. I was scrolling through the newsfeed and saw a story posted by a fellow “Christian”. The headline read about a Christian couple (who I like quite a bit), where it looked like they were splitting up. My heart dropped a bit because who liked that report? I’m like oh, I need to pray for them..this must be a request from them…etc. So yep, I checked it out and come to find out, it wasn’t true—in fact, the couple were talking about how strong their marriage was after all the years, trials, etc.

The issue: 1) is how the poster entitled his post 2) and the source he used seemed more like “The Enquirer” type tactics—they bait you to get you to read the story. 3) Why even go there? Why post something that intentionally deceives the audience? Maybe the poster didn’t think anything of it, but what does the Word say? The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. (Proverbs 18:8).

My takeaway: I’m quite leery of the person and their posts now. I’m learning to leave that stuff alone. I thought I heard the Spirit say to leave it alone, but I clicked anyway. Lesson learned. As someone who wants to get someone’s attention, I understand catchy titles, hashtags,etc, but I don’t want to ever intentionally deceive my audience into seeing something that isn’t there. This is where they yay and nay come in.

2) The other thing is watching what we REPOST.
2a) Why share posts where the original poster has profanity in the post? Or okay…not profanity, but the letters that mean the words. Or the symbols in place of the words (@* –), y’all know what I mean. Why is that okay? It isn’t. We talked that #SpeechTherapy part 4, where Matthew 12:33-37 talks about swearing and idle words. Replacing a swear word/phrase with its initial/s is still swearing.

2b) Video posts where people repost—with this disclaimer: “please excuse the language/profanity/partial nudity/music with cursing in the background, but the message is really good”. Really?!

Ok, so lets say there is box with a pizza on the table. At some point, a rat dances across the right corner of the pizza. Are you going to eat the part where the rat didn’t dance? Five second rule! Hey, he didn’t touch that piece, though—it’s still good, right? No, you likely will NOT eat it!

Same thing. Why promote the “good” part of what someone is saying rather than rejecting the profane message? A little leaven leaveth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9).

2c) Consider the source—do we check the source of where the post came from prior to reposting? There was some post about someone who was dancing in the Holy Ghost from a different denomination—and it was a beautiful thing! I didn’t doubt it was a legit praise, now and I REALLY wanted to repost it. There was something about the original poster—something on his wall, some nekked pic or some smoky lounge something that made me uncomfortable, so I followed the leading of Lord and just refrained from posting it.

#BottomLine: Do we really want to knowingly repost anything that has origins in something that doesn’t honor God? I don’t want to drive any traffic to a Fb’er whose beliefs are obviously counter-productive to God. No, I don’t expect every post to be a full of Scripture—I have some non-Biblically based, yet wholesome posts on my wall. I don’t expect everyone to be saved or believe like I do. But I like a clean wall.

BCU family, was this a tough lesson or what? Me, too! Yet we praise God for another chance to get things right before we go to see Him. With God’s help and our willingness to be obedient, we WILL be victorious in this area!

This actually concludes #SpeechTherapy season 1–stay tuned for season 2 coming up! Thank you MUCHO for stopping by!  God bless you, make His face to shine upon you, and until we are together again, #StayOnTheWall!

 

 

Love,

 

BCU

 

 

 

 

 

 

Series: Speech Therapy..the words of my mouth (part 5)

 

Hey BCU family!

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

Last lesson, we talked through some examples of idle words as Jesus warned us about in Matthew 12:33-37. Additionally, the book of James reminds us about the words of our mouth.

“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”
(‭‭James‬ ‭3:2-12)‬ .

Whew—-we’ve got work to do! Let’s dig in!

C.  The non-listener/hasty speaker

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. For the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).

He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding, but he that is hasty of spirit exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29).

See a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him. (Proverbs 29:20).

He that answers a matter before he hears it it is folly and a shame to him (Proverbs 18:13).

The Lord has brought this to my attention both as the offender and the offended. I probably notice it more as I was offended a couple of times recently and I liked that as much as I like a big ol’ plate of canned beets. Meaning I DON’T!

After setting up a meeting with someone to get clearance for a special task, I wanted to give them the background, so it was clear WHY I needed the clearance. I am ALL about making sure you understand, so nothing comes back to get me later. In mid-explanation, the individuals CUTS me off and gives me a some solution to the clearance—I listened quietly, and heard them say something like,  “is that what you were leading up to?” Me: “No”. Reread Proverbs 29:20.

Also, I had conversation with someone, where we disagreed on the conclusion of whatever we were talking about. Every time I wanted to explain why, I got CUT off. I finally just shut down—and listened. Then person was curious about my quietness.

There is also cutting into a conversation, while someone is talking and switching the subject—like the shell game! LOLOLOL!! I’m laughing but it’s really not of God. And I KNOW that I’ve done this to people–maybe out of excitement or wanting to get the point in while it was fresh or whatever, but what did my action do to the speaker? How did I make them feel? Like I was listening or just waiting for them to hush so I can talk?

All this really is birthed out of the pride of life—where self-exaltation and exaggerated importance tells you that the people/persons that are currently speaking DO NOT MATTER. What you have to say right then and there trumps the other person because you KNOW better, you HAVE the answer (you were not asked yet), you ARE superior, YOU HAVE lived longer than said individual, I DON’T have to listen to this; I WANT to end the conversation; I HAVE BETTER things to do; SHE takes TOO long expressing herself. I KNOW exactly what you want to say. DO YOU? No.

#BottomLine: Use your ears twice as much as your mouth.

D. Excess wording
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭5:33-37).

While many of us know not to use swear words (believers DO NOT practice using foul language), what about the “swear substitutes?” “What the…” “Oh my gosh” (substitute for God) or “jeez” (short for Jesus). Sure, we’re not taking the Lord’s name in vain…well directly, more like indirectly.. God knows our hearts, yes, but since He reminds us we have to give an account for our excess words, we should reconsider what we’re saying.

What’s the need to”swear to our God”, on your grandmother’s grave or say some other ridiculous claim to get someone to believe you are telling the truth? Is not our word enough, especially if we are truthful all the time. When telling your story, stick with the yay and nay (the truth of the story) without extra details and embellishments so we can stay away from anything evil coming out.

E. Empty promises/promising to do something when you can’t.

“Knocking someone into next week/kingdom come.”
“If….. happens, I’ll eat my hat”.
“Shake her hand till it comes off.”

Now I know these phrases sound very innocent and harmless. Think about it, though. If you really wouldn’t eat your hat, you’re not telling the truth. We can’t really knock someone into next week or any other week, either. You know, God never said anything He could not do, so we need to stop practicing this form of idle chatter.

F. Hasty, emotional responses:

“Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few (Ecclesiastes‬ ‭5:2).
“If God never answered another prayer….” do you really mean that? What if God took you seriously?
“I promise I will never ask for…” or “God if you do..I will..” Do we need to “bribe” God?  Ask, and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened. Whoever asks, gets, seeks, finds, knocks, it shall be opened. If it’s according to God’s will, you will get it..He likes to give good gifts.

“As long as I have Jesus I don’t need nobody else?” Really? Does not God work through people? Are we not called to love and interact with people? No…we don’t worship them, but we need one another.  An example? One plants, one waters and God gives the increase. (I Corinthians 3:7). We need people.

Also, should we really bargain with God? Ecclesiastes 5: 4-6 warns us not to.

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

Jephthah in Judges 19 learned this lesson painfully. He vowed if he was victorious in battle, he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of the house and it happened to be his only daughter.

#BottomLine– even in our anger and excitement, we can still honor God with how we speak. We need to choose our words carefully.

So once again this week, let’s ask the Lord to help us to “weed out” these types of idle words from our  hearts, mouths and vocabulary and replace that idling with more of the Word of God. We can do all of these things through Christ that strengthens us!

Thank you so much for tuning, God bless you, keep you, make His face to shine upon you and until we meet again #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

Series: #SpeechTherapy.. the words of my mouth (part 4)

Hey BCU Family,

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer (Psalms 19:14).

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about #SpeechTherapy and how it starts in the heart. We looked at the wicked hearts of Haman (Esther 3), and royal couple, Jezebel and Ahab (I Kings 21). Also we looked at some of the effects of the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Now that we have our and/or are working on keeping our hearts and minds clear, we want to look at HOW we communicate and the severity of not communicating God’s way.

A few years back, I saw a little bit of a movie called “1000 words” on TV. Eddie Murphy was in it and I believe the premise was he talked so badly and so much, that someone his character  made a deal with had this tree pop up that had a thousand leaves on it. So every time Eddie Muphry’s character spoke a word, a leaf fell off. Once all the leaves fell off, it was time for the character to die, so he got real careful about the words he was speaking —only doing so when needed. (I didn’t see the end so I don’t know what happened).

While this was a fictional movie, there is biblical proof because we also have a responsibility over the words we speak:

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37. 

So, we have to give an account for every IDLE word we speak! The Greek phrase is idle word is “rema argos”, meaning “careless, inactive or unprofitable words.”

How many careless or non-profitable words do we speak daily? I don’t know about you, but now that we know this, it’s time to make sure the words we sow yield a profit. This is not to say we DO NOT speak up against sin, injustices, questioning something that bothers you, get angry, upset, talking a struggle over with a godly friend—if you are discussing it with a pure heart and intentions, the nothing unwholesome will come out of your mouth. When we get bashing, name calling, gossipy, messy, those things that come out of an unclean heart, that’s where the trouble is.

What are some of things that happen when out speech is undisciplined? Loquaciousness— a fancy word for talking too much.

A. Thoughtless talk

A fool utters all his mind, but a wise man keeps it in until afterward/holds them back (Proverbs 29:11). It’s unwise to just tell people how you feel, give them a piece of your mind, tell them off, I just had to get it off my chest—etc. There will be times where we need to speak up, we just need God’s wisdom and follow His direction for the proper timing.

At had a incident on a job where an individual  seemed like they were playing “stump the chump” with me. In other words, when I gave a directive to the co-workers we were they “overrode” it. In FRONT of everybody.

Now you know, I was as hot as a firecracker on the 4th of July! I’m SOOOO grateful the we took a break shortly afterward and I went straight to the loo and head throne of grace—I needed God to help me with that. That’s a trigger for me—correcting is one thing, but I have an issue if you’re trying to embarrass me by challenging what I’m saying in a certain authoritative tone and manner. No ma’am, no sir.

So anyway, I’m not sure if co-worker sensed something or the Lord tapped them on the shoulder, but they did come and ask me was there anything they could have done differently or something like that. And with God’s grace I politely told them person what they did. They assured me it wasn’t intended that way and somewhat straightened it out, (I’d have done things differently), but that ok, the Lord worked it out. Who knows what would have come out if I had said something right in front of everyone..I may have compromised my witness, displeased God, had to be chastened for disobedience.

#Bottom line: We may be justified in feeling wronged or angry about something, we need to pause and pray before we say.

B.  LONGGG talk

In the multitude if words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise (Proverbs 10:19).

Do you know anyone who just talks, talks, talks, talks, talks? Do you play “dodgeball” when you see them, hoping to avoid a long, drawn-out, fruitless conversation? Do you already have something planned or time your meeting with Chatterbox so you have to go by a certain time OR are you the CHATTERER? It’s one thing if we are talking about things that are wholesome and edifying, and no, everything is not serious, so laughter is in order as well. For many of us who avoid the Chatterer, the CONTENT of the conversation is repetitious, long-winded, disjointed, hard to follow, can get gossipy, slanderous, messy, details get added…and idle words can creep in.

This Scripture is not dissuading us from talking to someone about concerns, situations, seeking godly counsel, or venting. We want to be sure to take things to the Lord first, ask Him IF we should talk to so-and-so and THEN tell your story with as much brevity AND detail as possible. Before you launch into your story, ask the person if this is a good time or how much time they have.

We talk about that in a class at work and to be honest, until I started teaching that concept, I don’t know if I was ever conscious about checking with people time wise to see if it was a good time for THEM. I just plopped on down and started talking! We don’t know the responsibilities the hearer has and how flexible they may or may not be. Maybe you didn’t come up for air long enough for hearer to say, “I have a doctor’s appointment in 30 minutes.” Then we feel gypped because we didn’t get to tell the story or feel hearer is insensitive or doesn’t care. Did you care to ASK the person, “do you have about 30 minutes or so, really need to talk this out?” Is it really an emergency, or can you pray and wait until hearer can get settled so they can give you undivided attention?

And this extends past talking to friends…what us speakers who are allowed 10 minutes to give a reflection or speak on a topic? We launch into 3-4 choruses of a rousing song that goes 7 minutes and then you want to start the clock for your 10. Or we start to tell an unrelated story with a lot of detail and then go into the topic. Not right. Yes, we have to allow for the Holy Spirit to have His way—as long as the Spirit is moving, then we yield to Him. It’s the flesh aka the tongue or a spirit of pride and disobedience where we feel it’s okay to take more time. This effects others who have to speak or carry on part of the program after you. Think of the person who is last on the program, spent time and effort to prepare their work, only to have it cut to two minutes because it’s time to go? This is a matter is respect and obedience. Philippians 2:3 says let NOTHING be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other not highly that yourselves. Think about the other person before yourself.

#BottomLine: talk long, talk wrong!

This week, with the help of the Lord, let’s pay attention to the triggers—the things that set of our impatience/hasty speech patterns —what is it about the slow speaker that really bothers you? How is it that cutting someone off, interrupting a conversation or changing the conversation to what YOU want to talk about giving God glory and helping others. How did we make the other person feel? You don’t care? God does and we will have to answer for it. Let’s start minimizing our account and  ask the Lord to help us not to be reactive in the mouth, rather to handle the situation HIS way. Amen? Amen!

Thank you so much for tuning in and until the next time we are together, #StayOnTheWall.

Love,
BCU

Series: #SpeechTherapy-it starts in the heart! (part 3)

Hey BCU family,

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

 

As we prepped and started heart surgery last time, we realized how lust and pride effects our hearts, speech and actions. Last time, we looked at the evil queen Jezebel, who had an innocent man killed in order to get her pouty husband, king Ahab a vineyard he just had to have! (I Kings 21).Let’s take a look what the Word says about lust and pride.

Do not love the world or anything in the world, if anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, comes NOT from the Father, but from the world. The world and the lusts pass away, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (I John 2:15-17).

This is a fixed fight, and God wants us to be victorious over our heart meditations and gives us the Word in which to do it. Our anchor scripture, Psalm 19:14 says, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O, Lord my strength and my redeemer. Let’s talk about the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, and our some of our seemingly innocent heart meditations may not be acceptable to God.

Lust of the flesh: all having to do with bodily desires.

Your body needs: Proper nourishment in order to function optimally. Where do we go wrong? Gluttony. The word of God reminds us NOT to be among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. (Proverbs 23:20-21). The thought here if it is hard to control your appetite, it likely hard to control other areas– rather they likely control you. God gives the Spirit-filled believer the ability to say “no” to anything in excess through exercising the fruit of the Spirit, particularly, self-control found in Galatians 5:22. We just need to make sure to practice self-control with God’s help.

Something else your body needs? Sleep or rest! We DEFINITELY need sleep in order to repair, rejuvenate–just to even function on all six cylinders.  Jesus told the disciples to come apart into the desert and rest awhile in Mark 6:31. Jesus Himself slept (Mark 4:38). Where we go wrong? Little to no activity other than sleeping. Yes, Jesus and the disciples rested, but they were tired from being BUSY from what they were called to do. The lazy and slothfulness we talked about from the lust of the eyes is closely related to this oversleeping lust of this  flesh here. Listen to what the Word says.

“Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty. Open your eyes and you will be satisfied with bread” (Proverbs 20:13) that speaks for itself.  Also, think about this, “the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37). If we are playing/sleeping when we’re supposed to be harvesting, we lose out on the fruit of the harvest (souls saved, healed, delivered and set free), and make more work for the laborers. We want to be in the few as God directs. Rest, yes, just not in excess.

Another body need? some activity/to work. It’s all good—we thank GOD for those who work! But then there is the work-aholic. Always going into the office, always taking the overtime, always on call (even when you don’t have to be), folding, pacing, cleaning, checking—just can’t be still. If you are working or always doing some activity, you will not hear from God. Has the activity around social media replaced your prayer, Bible study, quiet time with God? Social media is a good thing—its the lack of self-control that’s the issue and needs to be surrendered to God.  Let’s switch gears and talk about the pride of life.

Pride of life: These desires have to do with the spirit.

So, the desire to taking care of yourself, eating right, exercising, taking care of your hair, skin, nice clothes, etc., good! Weigh that against an obsession with trying to look 20 at 75. What is it with all this anti aging and commercials for facelifts? Where are the “mothers” of the church, neighborhoods? The wise folks? All looking to get “booed” or “bae-ed” up? We want to represent God by looking and dressing nice—vanity has no place in our hearts. Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears (reverences) the Lord , she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30). Men (and everyone really),  2 Corinthians 4:16b says, but though the outward man perish, yet the inward man us renewed day by day. Let’s make sure we take care of the inside as well as we do the outside.

What about the desire to please your parents, guardians, grandparents—what child doesn’t want someone to be proud of them? What happens when you do not “outgrow” that desire and it turns into people pleasing at ANY cost? Here’s where lying, stealing, deceiving, (acting like we like something) among other things can come into play—just to be liked–and it is NEVER enough. We better stick with God’s approval. He told Jesus in Matthew 3:17 this is my Son in whom I am well pleased. That should be our heart’s desire!

Let’s talk thorough the desire to know more about something—Proverbs tells us to get knowledge over gold (8:10). When you know something and others do not, is you heart calling them “stupid?”

I recall a “discussion” with someone years ago and they said “everybody knows that”. First of all, home skillet was lying, because everyone would include everyone—like my 5 year old niece—what does she know about grown folks business? She was likely studying Elmo, so NO, not everybody knows what point you’re trying to prove.  Secondly, that prideful remark was a slick way of trying to make me feel less intelligent than that individual and everyone else in the world. I don’t recall how the Lord had me handle it, but with God’s grace, I try not to say that or anything like it to anyone. Innocent as it sounds, there is pride there.

What about us “good, saved” people? Our sins have been washed away, we’ve been baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost and we live Holy—no smoking, drinking, partying, etc. We are in the “right” church affiliation, so NO sermons, studies, devotionals, anything God reveals during prayer or reading time is for us, it’s a word for her. Him. Them. That prideful spirit hardens the heart, so that the Word doesn’t penetrate and stir us to repentance and changing what we do. It takes some dire circumstance to get our attention.

Years ago, I was talking to a friend very “innocently” about other persons—it wasn’t malicious or mean-spirited, just something God would rather I not do and likely had elements of pride. (well I would never, or why did she do….) I must have passed too many warning signs because someone got to telling my business to some friends of mine and I was HEATED. The Lord gently reminded me that I felt how those people felt. After that God blessed me to be a confidant to many people who wanted advice or a listening ear. We can discuss matters for better understanding, clarification and as a cautionary advice, but in the right spirit. Things like “if she were a better mother she would..” vs “it may be hard for her as a single parent….” “I don’t know what’s wrong with her…if I had raised her…” “ it sounds like Vaselina needs a more structure. We need to pray for her parents (or talk to them as the Lord leads) for them to help her follow directions. We want to crucify this part of our flesh DAILY!

We could go on and on about with different scenarios about heart conditions. I know the Lord spoke to me on some of these very things and with His grace I am more aware and alert as to when the enemy comes by. In fact, I took the kiddos out to eat and was on my way to pay the check. It was crowded as people were waiting to be seated, pay, etc. and the enemy said “you can walk right out of here without paying and no one would know.” I mean JUST like that. Thank God for the desire to pay—but it’s those thoughts you mediate on that you can give a voice  and permission to act on.

This week, start paying more attention to your thoughts/ what’s in your heart. Ask God to show you (even if it’s painful), what areas need more attention or a purge  and ask for His help in overcoming them and creating a clean heart Psalm 51:10. Also, step up your gatekeeping of the heart as directed in Proverbs 4:23. Finally, Philippians 4:8 reminds us to think on true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. This way, NO room is allocated for any of the pride and lusts we talked about.

Well, BCU family, this brings #SpeechTherapy part 3 to a close! I pray the Word blesses and challenges you to do things differently for the Lord. Thank you all for tuning in and please come back for #SpeechTherapy part 4! Until the next time we are together, #StayOnTheWall.

 

Love,

 

BCU