Sunday, October 16, 2005

Caution -- Beware of Slips

Have you ever experienced that heart-dropping moment when you know that the words that have just passed by your lips are hurtful and hateful, and should never have been spoken? That kind of Hitchcock cinematic instance where you appear to be standing perfectly still, but the background moves farther and farther away?

“No, no, no! Why did I say that?”

I have been guilty so many times, especially with my spouse. I love my dearest friend, but he is the one person in the world upon whom I allow my vile and hateful feelings to bubble up and overflow out of my wretched and unruly mouth. Why are we that way?

Tonight I let my tongue loose. Oh, only for a sentence. But why did I let my old man out?

“It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within in me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh what a terrible predicament I’m in. Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.” Romans 7.21 – 25 LB
James had a few words to say about the tongue. You can read all of them yourself in the third chapter of that book. “…out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”

Though written nearly 2,000 years ago, these words, inspired by the One I love more than anyone, are as true as ever. Today we call someone our friend. Tomorrow we make a wounding statement that drives another wedge of mistrust and hurt between us.

Lord, I am sorry for offending you. Please help me to spare the people I love from that injury. I need Your strength. Now I must apologize to my husband.


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