Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Power of the Tongue

Let me share with you the latest lesson God has taught me.  Walk with me down the road and my hope and prayer is that you can learn from my mistake and be spared from making it yourself.  It is a good lesson.  But it was not fun to learn.  Looking back, however, my hard, stubborn heart needed a good kick in the pants.

I've struggled for a while with my words.  Not necessarily profanity, but catch me on a bad day, one where my hormones are raging from this pregnancy, traffic is just more than usual on a Monday morning when the lady in the lane next to me wont' let me get over to exit and yes, I confess, some unholy words fly out as my face turns red. 

But the real struggle is in being kind with my words towards others.  When they frustrate me or are ungracious to me, my reaction is unkind words.  Sometimes they are spoken.  Sometimes they are just thought.  Either way, Jesus was pretty clear that the sins we commit in our hearts are still that- sins.

And I've asked God to free me from it.  But I've not really wanted to let it go.  Ever have one of those moments with the Lord?  I knew deep down it was going to take something horrible to break me of this habitual sin of unkind words and thoughts toward His creations.  But I was still unwilling.

And so last Tuesday began- as any other normal work day.  I was emailing instructions about something that I manage at work to the person that is going to be taking it over.  In the instructions I said to email janedoe@janedoe'semail.com and in parentheses put "(she's a little bit flakey)".  Did he really need to know that about Jane Doe?  No.  Is Jane Doe a little bit flakey?  Maybe.  But guess what?  So am I!  (Baby brain is real.  I swear!). 

No harm, right? A simple email to a work friend with those 5 words.  Well, except that this flake typed Jane Doe's email in the CC box so that I could copy and paste it into the email and it would be correct. 

AND THEN I NEVER DELETED IT.  I sent Jane Doe the email telling her she's a little bit flakey.

Whoops!  To which I received a rather heated voicemail and then an email telling me that I was clearly the flakey one because I didn't mean to send that email.  I ate some humble pie for lunch that day.

But it didn't end there.  I couldn't just hide my horrible deed.  Because she cc'ed the two people I had emailed.  And I knew I had to 1) apologize and 2) tell my supervisors. 

The verse that the Holy Spirit laid heavily on my spirit was this- "The tongue has the power of life and death. Those who love it will eat its fruit."  Proverbs 18:21 

I am grateful that the Lord did not let me keep living without breaking me of the unkind words addiction.  I am also grateful because the next day as I sat and opened my devotional and my bible it was all about God redeeming our mistakes, being bigger than them and not dwelling on them.  His forgiveness and grace were honey to my soul- sweet and rich.  Even in the midst of discipline and hard lessons He is still good!

Learn from my mistake- please!  Happy Tuesday!