Thursday, April 28, 2011

SPEAK UP!!!!!

Sometimes good intentions are not enough.
Sometimes our good wishes and eloquent quips are not enough.
Sometimes life demands ACTION.
I am acutely aware of that fact today, for reasons not fit to share on such a public domain.  God is shouting in my heart today, "SPEAK UP!  Christelle, SPEAK UP!" Speak up against injustice and wrong doing.  Do not just sit with your arms folded and hands clasped in prayer, SPEAK UP! Take action! Defend the rights of the defenseless.

Sometimes it is not sufficient to say, "I'll pray for you."  I have to ask myself if I use the I'll-pray-for-you phrase because it is so easy for me to then wash my hands without actually getting involved, having to leave my comfort zone, and getting my hands dirty?
It is not good enough to see a world filled with hardship, broken lives and hurting people and shrug my shoulders thanking God that luckily it is not me.
SPEAK UP! for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of those who are destitute.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spill

"Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others as is fitting to the need and occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace [God's favor] to those who hear it."
Eph 4:29 (Amplified Bible)

Whew! A bit more descriptive than "put a watch over your mouth".  I am acutely aware of the power of words.  My words.  Especially when I hear my words through my kids' mouths.  I hear my tone of voice, see my gestures, very often I can even detect the same amount of irritability mirrored in their voices.  Humbling to say the least.

This verse really speaks to me, because the usual rendering in the NIV just says, "Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth."  Easy enough to generalize it and think it is just about swearing or making off color remarks and pretend that I am not that guilty on those charges.  A closer look at the verse reveals that it is so much more than that.  I have to question if my words are good and beneficial, if they are a blessing. Do they give grace to those who have to listen to me or when I talk about someone else?  There is a fine line between talking about someone out of concern and using concern as a cover-up for gossip.  Are my words a blessing to those who listen to me?  Or do my words tear down and cut those I love just so I could win an argument or get my point across?

I cannot help to think of an illustration Beth Moore gave in one of her Bible studies.  She explained the verse "out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks".  She used the example of someone holding an overfull jug, whenever anyone bumps into the one holding the jug, whatever fills the jug will spill. The same is true of us.  What jumps out of my mouth when life pushes against me, is a clear indication of what fills my heart.  Oh! How I pray that when the life gets knocked out of me with demands and frustrations that what will overflow from my heart and mouth will glorify Him.  I've got such a long way to go, but thank God for His promise to keep working on us till Christ's return.

Anybody else learned a few lessons in this area of our lives?