This tongue of mine seems to be the hardest thing to tame. Not for lack of trying though. I must admit that I’ve seen some improvement in the tongue-taming department but I realize there’s still some work to be done.
I’ve been wondering about words used via instant messaging (IM) and social media (SM). Is it that you blame the tongue for words sent these medium? Social media and instant messaging has really blurred the line when assigning blame to which members of the body is out of line at times and I’m sometimes at a loss as to whether I should blame my heart, mind, tongue or fingers when I send a “less than loving” message to someone.
Since encountering James 3 I’ve made a conscious enough effort to manage the use of my tongue. I’ve been choosing my words wisely and I take extra care to speak life into situations rather than death and I’ve chosen to remain silent when I wanted to speak out. However, in a recent bout of anger, I chose to use my “free will”; to be angry and not sin, to unleash the sharpness of my tongue via IM. As quickly as the words came to my mind I typed them into my phone and sent the message before the feeling of conviction could influence me enough to change my mind.
When I was finished weaving my web of hurt and venom in the message, I turned my rage towards God. I was angry with Him too, and He was going to hear about it! Imagine me being so angry that I accused God of being a betrayer, someone I could never trust and someone I was going to continue interacting with only because I didn’t know how to begin to live without Him. In my rage, He had become a necessity who I would get rid of if it were possible.
Thinking back I was so angry and so determined to “speak my mind” I allowed days to pass before I stopped to hear God’s side of things. In hindsight I can’t imagine how it was possible for me to be so angry with a God I’m madly in love with. I never really thought I’d reach to the point where I’d SAY “Leave me alone God” and mean it. I guess when your heart is broken; whether through perceived deceit or otherwise, it’s easy to lash out at whoever hurt you.
Thankfully God isn’t like man and His love supersedes our shortcomings. My mind was made up to fight with God and accept whatever happened while we were angry with each other (looking back, that probably wasn’t the smartest decision to make). I figured I would have some kicking and screaming to do, but I’d do it because I was angry and he knew that. I said what I had to and I wasn’t about to apologize to him or anyone else for that matter.
As much as I decided I wasn’t going down without a fight and as bold as I was to try and take on God, on the inside I was quivering. After all, it’s not every day you pick a fight with God and expect to win. To my surprise and delight what I got in response to my anger was mercy, grace, love and compassion. God never scolded me, or chastised me, or rebuked me. He simply opened my eyes to a greater reality of what was taking place and reminded me of the relationship we shared.
When it comes to God I’m beginning to realize he’s capable of taking on a lot more of my personality than I give Him credit for. I used to think that I couldn’t be 100% me, but God already knows my full potential, the truth of my heart and my intention in everything I do. If I could somehow embrace that reality how much more beautiful a relationship I’d have with Him.
In my reflections I’ve realized that I have a responsibility for my words; spoken, typed, written or otherwise, and I shouldn’t use anger as an excuse to use them foolishly. I’m also very thankful that I had this experience because it’s helped me to embrace the reality that God knows and loves me completely. I’m thankful that when I slip up or step outside of His will he isn’t waiting to scold me or rebuke me but rather he lovingly corrects me and allows me to try again.
Maybe, like me, you’re still figuring out this whole Christian thing and this relationship with God thing. If that’s you then I’d like to encourage you to keep trying, don’t be too hard on yourself and always be open to hear what God is saying and how He’s saying it. It won’t always be easy, but it’s definitely going to be worth it!