A preacher said this in a sermon: ” I thought I was the most saintly Christian… and then I got married. I had to learn to die to self… and then when I just thought I was getting better, I had children!!! All the patience which I thought I had, went right out the window!!”
I’m not sure if you have noticed, but the “people” in our close quarters usually bring out the worst in us!!
Not that they are purposefully mean, but the areas of flesh that are still not dead IN US, tend to show up faster when we are with our close family members and friends, because we spend a lot of time with them. We can be cleared off as angels to the outside world, but ain’t no games with our folks!
During this particular trip to India, I have had more than a couple of instances when I lost patience in conversations.
To me, it was quite evident that my tongue was my weak area. Of course I could give legitimate reasoning for every argument, but reasoning out my wrongs is not going to help ME in any way.
Frankly, after I arrived in India, my time with the Lord has taken a downturn, but when you are really desperate, you finally open the Word.
Reading the scripture is like walking along the banks of a river that has raw pieces of gold. While you are walking on the banks, you see something shining and when you draw closer to see what it was that shined, you see that it was Gold… only that this Gold is the only GOLD that could redeem and transform your soul!
“Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back,” Titus 2:9
I’ve read this passage several times, but that day when I read the word, the Gold that glittered was the phrase, “not answering back.”
Every young person knows that it is not right to be disrespectful or hurtful in conversations. But, how many people are ABLE to bridle their tongues? Our flesh easily overtakes us!!
I sincerely believe that everytime a portion of the word lights up, there is a spiritual transaction that takes place. Our weakness is replaced with his Strength. It’s a baffling transaction. The Word carries divine strength that no amount of counseling or human determination can help. The Word HELPS when our flesh is weak to overcome. No matter what our weak area is, the WORD brings strength.
“My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9
I won’t say I have bridled my tongue in 2 weeks!! No, definitely not…but I sure can tell a difference between ME trying to make a peaceful conversation and the ‘WORD (Christ) in me’ establishing a peaceful conversation, to the point that it makes you wonder… “Was that REALLY ME?”
Truly, it’s those moments when you sense a taste of Galatians 2:20… “…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”
It’s a wonder how Christ empowers our weak areas little by little to conform us to His nature. No guarantees that I won’t fall again. But I know He’s right by my side to pick me up, if I do.
We live in a world where everyone wants to make their point audible. People find it so hard to lose an argument. People raise their voices to gain control over the weaker voices. The louder voice wins. It’s a sad state of our fallen world.
Someone once said, ” Its better to lose the argument and win the person than win the argument and lose the person.” How so true, right?
We establish friendships and gain lifelong relationships by just being WILLING to lose an argument. If I look back at my own life, I can count multiple situations where I wanted to prove my point, but such zeal always ends up on bitter notes. Several years later, I still regret some of my zealous arguments with some very special people.
Like the good book gives us wise counsel, “not answering back” is a great quality to possess. It is the quality of the lamb. Next time, when temptation knocks on the door to be argumentative, hold back, talk to the Holy spirit and ask Him to lead your conversation. From my personal experience I can guarantee that He ALWAYS leads us to peaceful conversations that will last in the hearts of people for a lifetime!!!
When God’s WORDS have first changed us, our words can change others too!!!