by Pastor Tim Burt
Most people who work hard, realize that hard work not only feels good, but also brings reward. Proverbs 12:14 NIV says, "From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him." This verse teaches 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 like a volcano, the strenuous labor of restraining yourself and instead, speaking right and appropriate words, promises great reward.
Proverbs 12:16 NIV says, “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” Did you catch that? Two people were insulted 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 had greater perception of the big picture than the one that was instantly annoyed (the fool.) This prudent person is stepping back in that instant and looking through God’s eyes of love—seeing the big picture of life, not allowing themself to be controlled by the emotional stimulus from the provocation. Love, forgiveness, and seeing the big picture from a godly perspective are core values that empowers a person to restrain themselves. It is where the strength lies to keep their mouth in check. The prudent person understands the power of walking in love which in turn enables them to respond respectfully or not respond at all. This person has learned to let their words and response reflect God. Some might think this is being weak. It's actually a demonstration of enormous inner strength! And, this person will be rewarded over time.
Learning how to speak the truth in love and hold our emotions in check while keeping a respectful attitude is not easy. It's the mother of all challenges! 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 which includes building the inner strength of restraint! It’s a process and takes hard work. The joy is in knowing that in time, gaining strength in restraining your perspective, attitude and tongue will eventually becomes an instinctive part of your character. Ambassadors that represent their countries have typically developed these skills and strength and part of the reason they were given the job. God calls us Ambassadors for Christ which is why we need to develop in this area. 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 greater respect and will also increase God's favor and blessing upon your life.
Don't be impatient with your lack of success in your initial efforts to restrain your attitude and tongue and respect for others. It's tough to do for sure but never quit trying. Seriously continue working at it until you get it down. The reward is so great as you begin to see this attribute develop over time within you! You are a child of God. The Holy Spirit lives within you. Ask Him not just daily, but moment by moment to help you. He will and as you lean on Him, you will experience increasing strength and the grace of God to accomplish this noble task. It is one of the greatest attributes of maturity. It 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!
Titus 2:7-8 NIV “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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