by Pastor Tim Burt
Most people that work hard, realize that hard work not only feels good, but also brings reward. Proverbs 12:14 says "From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him." God is teaching us that the work of learning to speak right words with a right heart and attitude is just as important as working hard with your hands or mind. When your emotions are running high and you're upset and desire to erupt from your mouth like a volcano, the strenuous labor of restraining yourself and instead, speaking right and appropriate words promises great reward.
Proverbs 12:16 says, “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” Did you catch that? The insult was hurled but the prudent man overlooked it. One failed and the other got it right! Which side of that coin to you want to be on? The person that got it right is looking much further than the annoyance. This person is looking through God’s eyes of love at the big picture of life. They aren’t letting themselves be controlled by the emotional stimulus of the moment. Love, forgiveness, seeing the big picture from a godly perspective, and doing what is right are the core values of that empowers a person to restrain themselves, keeping their mouth in check. This person understands the power of walking in love which in turn enables them to give respect to the one that doesn’t deserve it and consequently won't retaliate with insults. This person has learned to let their words and response be respectful and represent God. Does this sound unfair? It might but this person will be rewarded over time.
We grow in learning how to speak the truth in love. We learn to hold our emotions in check and keep a respectful attitude. Is all this easy? No! It's as big of a challenge as we will ever take on. We can't afford to forget that godly communication carries a lengthy learning curve because it's about building character! It’s a process and takes hard work. The joy is in knowing that in time, gaining strength in restraining your tongue and giving undeserved respect eventually becomes an instinctive part of your character. God's word teaches us that this is what helps us truly mature and become distinctively different from others. James 3:2 (NLT) says, "Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect (mature) and could also control ourselves in every other way." Over time this will bring you great respect and also facilitate the favor and blessing God promises you in your life.
Don't be impatient with your lack of success in your efforts to restrain your attitude and tongue and respect for others. It's tough to do for sure! But oh the reward is so great as you begin to see this attribute develop over time within you! Don’t forfeit the process and your efforts. Continue working at it till you get it down. You are a child of God. The Holy Spirit abides in you. Ask Him not just daily, but moment by moment to help you. He will and as you lean on Him, you will experience the strength and grace of God to accomplish this noble task. It is one of the greatest aspects of maturity that will lead you to greater harmony, promotion, and blessing – beyond what you could have ever imagined.
Oh yes, and one last benefit to mention. As you grow in this, you will glorify God more and more and increase your influence with others through your pattern of good behavior and godly speech! As Titus 2:7-8 says, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your instruction, show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say of you.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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