What do you want to look like one year from now? Could you get into shape if you had a year to do it? What if it was your main focus? What if you worked on it every day? What if you worked more on it than you ever have to whip your body into better shape? What part of your body would you focus on? Maybe you think I´ve been thinking about this since I´m 4 weeks postpartum, but physical fitness is not really what I want to talk about. I´ll tell you what part of my body I want to have in shape before next year: my tongue. And let me tell you that is no easy job. I truly believe it would be easier to get the whole rest of my body in shape than to get my tongue under control.
Just look at what James says about our tongues. "People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!"
Wow! "This is not right!" As I read those Words this morning I was terribly convicted. I was convicted about the shortness of time I have. I was especially thinking about my time left with Jake under our roof. That´s what led to the above questions. Could I get my tongue in shape if I focused on it for one year. That´s all the time I have left with Jake....one year. Will my tongue, my words, to him over the next year be edifying and encourage him on the path he is to walk as an adult or will my words be quick and short and full of selfishness and frustration? How will he remember me? As a mom who controlled her tongue or as a mom who gave quick retorts and poured out judgemental words that tore down much more than they built up?
This brings up an interesting point. Can we control our tongues? James tells us that no one can tame the tongue. I know I can´t. I´ve been working on it for pretty much my entire adult life. I can´t control it. He also says it´s full of deadly poison. Even though it´s a tiny part of our bodies it can do some serious damage to those we love and we can´t even stop it. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to pop off with the wrong thing under stress and how hard it is to say something that edifies and glorifies God? Have you ever noticed how just a couple of harsh words can injure a child´s (or a spouse´s) spirit and melt the happiness right off of their face?
So, what do I do? How do I get my mouth in shape? How do I keep it from hurting those I love? I must surrender it to God. I must admit that I can´t do it. I don´t have any self-control. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit and He must bear it in my life as I submit to Him. I have to allow Him to produce it as I abide in Him. I can´t muster it up on my own. When I try I can do it for a while and then I fail because it´s me trying to do it not allowing Him to produce it in me. When I do fail, when I sin, I must go back to the cross and ask forgiveness from the One who loves me the most. Then I must recommit to abiding in Him and ask Him to control my tongue for me and to use me as a vessel to speak His words. It´s an ongoing process (for me anyway). Please pray with and for me that I will continually seek to surrender my tongue to the Lord, that He would control it and use it to speak words of life not death. I really want it to be in shape!