The Lord has been directing me to the book of James this week. Though only 5 chapters long, it is a very powerful book! It is a book that calls me to action! There are so many lessons to be learned in this book....don't just talk the talk, walk the walk; if you speak it, let your actions reflect it; if you are a leader you will be judged harsher than someone else; one's motives must be pure; don't seek after things of the world. But let me tell you what shouted out loud to me just today.....a shout that echoed in my soul....
BRIDLE THAT TONGUE
This has been a struggle of mine all of my life. It seems as though that little bitty thing in my mouth just lives a life all it's own. There are times when my mind is thinking one thing and 'plop' comes some thing out my mouth that wasn't even ran by the rest of me first!
Well, today as I was reading Chapter 3 some things came about. First let me just share a bit from the Message.
Verse 5-6 "It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell."
Have you ever had one of those moments where you knew that just the wrong word from your mouth could make or break the situation....or the heart of someone? I have! Matter of fact, there have been several times that I have spoken words to my children that as soon as they were out of my mouth and I saw their little eyes/faces reflect their feelings and I knew my words had done damage. Was that my intention? Of course it wasn't.
There have been times that in the heat of the moment, and sometimes just in normal conversation, my words to my husband have been anything but what I wanted to be said.
I realized that it isn't just the words, but the way in which that little rudder in my mouth makes those words sound that can be problematic. I also have come to realize that sometimes words just shouldn't come out at all.
You see I have this problem sometimes with just having to say something. Like something in me just can't let well enough alone, I just have to say something, anything.
Well in reflecting this chapter today it was impressed on me that I don't talk quite enough lately. I know that if you know me you are gripped in laughter right now....but really....
You see...my knees aren't callused! If my knees aren't calloused, then I am not talking to the One that will give me the words to use at just the right moment. I am lacking in prayer time. Yeah, I pray every day and yes I read the Word every day. But real prayer...gut wrenchin, soul searchin, spillin it all to my Daddy kind of prayin....well, there could be more of that. I don't want to open my mouth if He isn't telling me to open it.
James had a nickname. He was known as "Old Camel Knees". He spent so much time on his knees in prayer over the years that his knees became callused. His wisdom came from his time in prayer.
What an honor to carry that name! What a call to action! He was living it! He was practicing what he preached and he had physical evidence of such!