Sunday, August 12, 2012

Did I just say that?

Remember that little saying we all learned as kids?  Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.  Honestly, could that be farther from the truth?  One of the reasons I titled my blog this way is because I have this bad habit of speaking before I really take the time to think about my words.  You know, those moments when you wish you could physically grab the words and shove them back in your mouth.  Those moments when you want to open mouth, insert foot?  The moments when you ask yourself, "Did I just say that?"  You get the idea.

I notice it most when I am talking to my children.  They are such an easy target when I'm having a bad day, not feeling well or just don't want to be bothered.  I am convicted of this and feel like it's a lesson that God is constantly teaching me.  It's not a coincidence that the book of James in the New Testament compares the tongue to a fire (James 3:6) and full of deadly poison (James 3:8).  How many times have I had to referee an argument between my girls and had them open their Bibles to Ephesians 4:29 and read it to me.  "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."  Uh oh.  Maybe I need to open my own Bible and read it to myself.

I would imagine that if I took a Facebook survey and asked how many people remember specific words over the course of their lifetime that were hurtful and they never forgot, I'd have more comments than I could read.  Truth is...words hurt.  How many times have I been out shopping or at the grocery and overheard parents talking so ugly to their kids.  My first thought is, "Come on, give them a break.  They're just kids."  Then how many hours/minutes later am I doing the very same thing and the Holy Spirit gently says to me, "Come on, give them a break.  They're just kids."

Many times this week I have been overwhelmed by my love for my children.  Just watching them walk to school or wait for the bus or chew their food, I am reminded of what a gift they are.  Then I am reminded that my love for them, no matter how great it seems to me, is minuscule in comparison to the love that my Heavenly Father has for me.  Would I be willing to give up one of my kids for someone that loves me, or even worse hates me and doesn't care to get to know me?  I doubt it.  But God did.  And He never...thought...twice.  It was the only way He could be with His children, His beloved.

My prayer this week is that I would be more thoughtful with my words, not only to my children, but to everyone I meet.  You never know what someone else is going through and one smile or encouraging word may mean the world to them.  Will this habit go away overnight?  Most likely, no.  But the Lord knows my heart and He knows my desire and thankfully, with a repentant heart, his mercies are new every single morning.


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