Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Hey, sword mouth!"

Last night was the kick off for "Summer Slow Down" bible study with my 7-9th grade girls. We had 5 total and will add 2 more next week - so, it looks like it will be a super time full of benefit not only for the girls, but for me. You always learn more I think when you are teaching. Sometimes by force! ;)
We are working through the "Make it Real" DVD put out by Point of Grace, part of their Girls of Grace tour. And lastnight we started with the hot topic of GOSSIP. {gulp} I know, what a way to start! But it was SO good to be reminded of what God thinks of gossip and just how we use our mouths in general. The best reminder for me is that words really do cut like a sword. Since we aren't too familiar with swords anymore, I try to think of steak knives. I know that sounds weird, but... you see, I have cheapy, old steak knives that I use for everything: chopping potatoes, slicing apples, cutting meat, etc. We have yet to own a good, quality set of knives. My knives are a little dangerous - because they aren't very good I often find myself getting little knicks and cuts because of how hard I have to press and pull to get them to actually work. Sometimes I don't know the little cut is there until I go to wash my hands with soap - and then - STING, wow, what a rude suprise. And words - gossipy, misplaced, hurtful words are the same way.
"Careless words stab like a sword, but the words of wise people bring healing."
Proverbs 12:18 (God's word translation)

Man o' Man I want to be someone that brings healing to others. There is so much hurt and pain in this world - and so many "stab wounds". It was good to hear from the girls about this - how they see this happening in their own lives and in the lives of their friends. We all acknowledge that this is a problem, but also agreed on the solution:

"Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you. "
Ephesians 4:29 (GWT)

On the DVD, Shelley, from POG mentioned the dream of what the world would look like if all the girls could just learn to shut their mouths and give compliments rather then criticisms, stop-think-filter before speaking and use the "less is more" concept when it comes to words in general. My heart has ached for that dream, too. And of course, anyone who has ever been cut with words feels the same... BUT HOW?! How do we get to that place of choosing obedience and love for God over the newest bit of "networking"? And how on earth do we tame this beast of a tongue? The book of James gives the best description...

"We put bits in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, and we have control over everything they do. The same thing is true for ships. They are very big and are driven by strong winds. Yet, by using small rudders, pilots steer ships wherever they want them to go. In the same way the tongue is a small part of the body, but it can brag about doing important things.
A large forest can be set on fire by a little flame. The tongue is that kind of flame. It is a world of evil among the parts of our bodies, and it completely contaminates our bodies. The tongue sets our lives on fire, and is itself set on fire from hell. People have tamed all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures. Yet, no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison."
James 3:3-8

And here's what I've been learning:
- Do a self check. "Do I use my tongue to betray people?", etc. We've probably all heard this a zillion times, but, PREACH TO YOURSELF. Speak God's word out loud - replace the harsh, cutting words with God's truth.

- Like Shelley recommended, STOP / THINK / FILTER and you may find that "less is more" when it comes to what you need to say.

- In order to really be "set apart" gossip should not be a part of my life. It's choosing to obey God rather then what the world deems as "cool" for the moment.

- Forgiveness is key. Whether its me forgiving someone who has cut me with their words, or me going to someone to ask forgiveness. It's commanded and healing to forgive.

Sword Mouth. Hmmm... not such a nice nickname for a child of the Most High King. Something to think about. What are we doing with our words? Are we living our lives to worship God? So many good things to think about today.

1 comment:

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Very good reminder! The girls are blessed to have you as a leader! Keep sharing what you learn! :)