Cleaning up the messes (aug 31, 2009)

Weapons — “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD.” Isaiah 54:17

I love this picture . . . and it’s framed perfectly before one’s eyes every time people enter the kitchen at Cordova, Alaska’s Little Chapel. Notice that not one of these knives is the same! This picture is a hanging-on-the-wall lesson of the faithfulness of God in protecting our spirits, souls and bodies, whether our own, or our local church spirit, soul (emotions), or corporal body of believers. Of course these are utility knives, but the enemy (the gates of hell) can come flying toward us unexpectedly like a sharp dagger to steal, kill, and destroy relationships in our family, or church! We need to be aware that the enemy may strike out in a dagger-like incident at any moment.

One of the proverbs of Solomon states, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” We are what we eat. Our words, actions, and even attitudes will either tear down, build up, kill, or give life. Have you ever been told by someone to “think before you speak.” Ugh! How in the world can a person think before they speak when they are angry, or their attitude just isn’t up to par? Words just fly out of the mouth at such times. Jesus said, “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart.” 

Our attitude sits in the center of our heart. So, if our attitude about a person, place or thing is bad, words that reflect that attitude will more than likely be tossed out of our mouth like darts to a corkboard. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14. David meditated on the Word of God day and night. He said, “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.” Psalm 77:11-12

How we can think before we speak ⏤ If we find ourselves meditating, thinking about, imagining, visualizing the wonderful works of God found in the Old and New Testaments, we would find our attitudes and words changing for the better. Instead of speaking dagger-like words, we will find ourselves building up, and encouraging those in our family, on the job and even in school. 

I am reminded of an object lesson a young man was taught by his father. The young man had gotten angry with his friend and spewed out a mouthful (a heart full) of cutting words that destroyed the friendship. He went to his father and asked his advice on what to do about it. The father went and got a tube of toothpaste, took the cap off, and gave it to his son.

“Now take a grip on this tube, and squeeze as hard as you can,” he said. The son squeezed as hard as he could, and out came flying a string of toothpaste all over the floor! Then the father told his son, “Now take all that toothpaste and put it back into the tube!” The boy tried and tried, but it was impossible. The father continued, “You see, son, the words you spewed out at your friend were the same as the toothpaste. It’s impossible for you to put them back into your heart, but you can certainly go and clean up the mess you made.”

 If you’ve made a mess recently, maybe this weekend would be a good time to go and begin cleaning it up.

Posted in Weekend Greetings.

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