You know how you’ll have that niggling– that still small voice— nudging you about something that you allow in your life, consciously or unconsciously, and then you open His word and it opens to the very passage that deals with what you’ve been kind of ignoring? Yeah, it was that kind of morning for me.
I try to be kind and encouraging at all times, I really do, but I fall short regularly. And it’s not just what comes out of my mouth, or my actions, but what I don’t say or don’t do that can be just as harmful.
I struggle with being a people-pleaser, and I will allow people to “vent” about other people. I would mostly just listen, and I would feel kind of righteous for not actually adding anything to the conversation. But there was that little voice putting a damper on my self-righteousness. Just because I wasn’t adding anything to the conversation, wasn’t my silence giving assent and encouragement to the speaker? This had been rolling around the periphery of my thoughts, but I mostly ignored it until the next occurrence, and then the voice got a little louder.
A few days ago my husband and I were hanging out with a new believer. He was sharing some gossip and I found myself not only allowing it to continue, but showing interest and thereby encouraging him to continue. My husband stepped in, graciously saying, ‘we don’t know the whole story’ and redirecting the conversation to something more productive, which made me realize the destructive and unhealthy path we were on. I felt terrible and immediately breathed a prayer asking for forgiveness. Not only could that have been destructive to the person who was the subject of the conversation, but to the new believer’s walk, and mine!
To drive the point home, this morning I opened my bible to this passage in Ephesians chapter 4 verses 29 through 32 “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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
I thank God for not giving up on me, and continuously, patiently, guiding me back to His path, giving me His word and showing me His nature. I pray I will reflect Him in all I say and do. Or don’t say and don’t do.