Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

It is my hope that by reading this daily you will grow in your walk with Christ and be set free from any struggles in your life that are weighing you down. Be blessed to be a blessing.

Monday, August 1, 2011

SEASONED SPEECH

Seasoned speech does not mean that you salt and pepper your tongue, but try to not lead a double life with your mouth. If  you claim to be a Christian one of first indications should be your mouth and what comes out of it. Do you act nice one time then cuss a blue streak to a guy who cuts you off on the road? Perhaps you are not so kind to a phone worker who is only doing his job. Lets say a solicitor calls. You may not like it but in a kind way say thank you for calling but no thanks. No need to get nasty. For those of us who have been call center employees it is a thankless job at times. I was fortunate when I was a reservations agent for an airline to not get too many people who ridiculed or were harsh to me but if they were it was my goal to treat them as kind and respectful as  possible and give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they are going through something bad. Perhaps the way they were raised has something to do with their actions. Maybe the example set by a parent earlier in life is imprinted and they feel justified in condemning people. But it is still wrong. I remember once on my first cruise a couple who were extremely rude and 'racist' to the waiter who happened to be from a South American country.  I was so embarrassed and was hoping the waiter did not think we were with this couple. It was uncalled for and shameful.

There is no need to pop a cork, fly off the handle or anything else. If your job causes you to want to vent try to do it before coming in the door at home or taking it out on the poor check out guy at the local store. Ask God to help make  you aware of when you are starting to be rude or cruel and ask Him to give you His strength to zip your lip. As the saying goes "If you do not have anything good to say do not say it at all." No one deserves to be verbally abused and it does not show the love of Christ. This goes for also saying ugly things behind people's backs too. God is always watching. If you have hurt someone and are aware of it say you are sorry. Sometimes those who are harsh with others seem to do it so much they make it their lifestyle so for those it may be hard for them to understand what they are doing is wrong. Measure your actions by what God's word says. No one deserves to be talked down to at all!

When someone is ugly to you do not retaliate lest a root of bitterness spring up. Hebrews 12:15 says "Make sure that everyone has kindness from God so that bitterness doesn't take root and grow up to cause trouble that corrupts many of you". And as for telling off the clerk at the store, have you ever thought of what if you ran into him at church? Talk about embarrassing!! There is your double life creeping in. Do you wear a 'church face' and a 'go out in the world face'? If you call yourself a Christian your face should be the same and  your speech should be the same. Too many of us may forget that. We do not just go to church then act like wild crazy people the rest of the time. Our light is supposed to be shining brightly for Jesus in the public square and at home not just for one hour on Sunday inside church walls. Do not be two different people.

Colossians 4:6 says "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Does this verse characterize your life or do you say mean hurtful things to friends and family and think it is okay to 'abuse' total strangers such as waiters or other service employees? It is never okay to treat anyone wrong and belittle them with your mouth. All people deserve respect. It is really bad when a person claiming to be a believer starts verbally tongue lashing anyone. If you are guilty just know it is not right and seek help to overcome it. For sure it is not a Christlike trait to possess. Some may speak harshly to a spouse and there is no excuse for that either. Come back to James 1:19 which says "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." I love that verse and have used it in lots of my devotions on our tongue and words. Make it part of your life and you will have less conflict. No unpleasant or harsh words should flow from your mouth be it to friends, family or strangers.

James 3:11-12 says "Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh." If you know someone that seems to get angry and spout off a good deal of the time that claims to know Jesus you may be afraid to confront them but pray for them. Pray they will recognize and be convicted that this trait does not 'become' a believer or someone trying to win the lost to Christ. This person can also lack grace and compassion which are needed to show love to the hurting. None of us are perfect. Hurtful words can be said and an apology never rendered. You just have to pray for the person and learn to blow it off.  We all have probably been hurt by carelessly spoken words in one way or another. The bigger person will not try to get back and will pray and let it go.

Do not lead a life at church for one hour then the rest of the week feel free to let it all hang out. Let your witness for Christ extend in all areas of your life. Get that tongue under control. Ephesians 4:29 says "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Go into the world and really let others be able to tell  you are a Christian because of your love and kindness. Practice only saying nice things. 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus today I want to say and do only what pleases you. It is easy to get mad at times. Stress of various things can cause us to come 'unglued' at times but help me Lord to look to you for my strength and ignore those people around me who may be ugly or try to hurt with words. We pray for anyone in our lives who may have issues in this area. God help us tame our tongue. In Jesus Name. Amen.

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