Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesdayish

I am reading this phenomenal book called Keep It Shut, by Karen Ehman.  I have mentioned that at least forty times on here, I know, but I cannot stress enough how amazing this book is.  I thought I would be done by now, but I am forcing myself to read it slowly, one chapter at a time.

With a title like that, you would assume that it's all on the mouth and the damage it can do.  And boy, can it!

But she addresses our heart a lot in this book.  Because truly, out of the overflow of our heart, our mouth speaks.  (Luke 6:45, HCSB translation)

I know that I am always preaching this to my boys, but have I ever really thought about that statement, in terms of myself?  I don't know that I have.  I have this philosophy that goes along with this verse, and that is this: garbage in, garbage out.

What we fill our minds is also what comes out of our mouths.  So what am I filling my mind with?  Only with things that point to Jesus?  No.

But I'm learning this process, and that is that everything I do should be honoring to God.  The books I read, the movies and television shows I watch (OUCH!), the music I listen to, the way I treat my family when nobody is watching~all of these things should be pointing toward Jesus.  If that is not the case, then I should not fill my mind or my heart with them.

And then this morning happened.  I opened up my Bible study homework to Second Timothy Two.

All I can do is write it out for you to read for yourself.  I am reading from the NASB translation.

14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for [e]it will lead to further ungodliness,17 and their [f]talk will spread like [g]gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness."

20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce[h]quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive [i]by him to do his will."

All of these verses got to me, but especially the ones starting with fifteen and after.  I feel like the Lord Himself was reminding me to be diligent, to not be ashamed and to be extra careful of the way I speak.  For the part that talks about not being ashamed, I think that means to be careful with how I live my life~as in, I have this wonderful book that I read (the Bible) and if the job of that book is to transform me and my life, and if I read it then don't change,  that would make me a hypocrite.  And don't we all know people who don't go to church because they have been burned by hypocrites?

I do.  And I do not want to be one.

I am to pursue righteousness.  And faith and love and peace.  I should not be quarrelsome and I should be kind to all, able to teach (even if that means only living my life by example), and I should be patient when I am wronged.  If I correct, it should only be with gentleness, so that God will grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of truth.  And the last verse is still directed to Timothy and who he should be telling these things to, but the thought of being held captive by the devil sends chills down my spine.  

Who wants to be held captive by evil?  

And yet, if we are unwilling to change, that is exactly what is happening.  

Between the book I am reading and my Bible study homework today, I am wrecked.  But in a good way, because I am to lead a transformed life.  The closer I walk with God, the more He changes me.  The more I am in His word, the more His Holy Spirit nudges me.  He reminds me of verses that tell me to remember that I should consider other people more important than myself.

If that means saying I'm sorry first, then I should do that.  If that means biting my tongue to refrain from hurling angry words at someone, then so be it.  If that means praying before I answer someone who is frustrating me, then I should pray first.  And I am to constantly be examining my heart.  

A verse that I pray often is Psalm 19:14.  "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be pleasing in Your sight O LORD, my rock and my redeemer."

Notice how many of these things have to do with my mouth.  If they don't have to do with my mouth, then it's my heart.  If you feel that you struggle in this area, I recommend this book.  Actually, even if you feel that you don't struggle in this, you should read it anyway.  There is something in it for everyone.  You can even be a part of an online Bible study with this book right now, with the women of Proverbs 31 Ministries.  

I have purposefully not written in my copy, should someone want to borrow it.  I have already promised it first to my friend Robin, but I am willing to share, if you don't mind waiting.

Well.  That was kinda ugly, wasn't it?  She has stepped all over my toes throughout the pages of this book and I know she's not done.  I'm currently on the chapter that deals with people pleasing.  And we all know that I have that problem.  

You might want to pray for me.  ;)

Love to all.  

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