"Do not use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement for those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live." (Ephesians 4:29-30)
This devotional is a hard one to write because in a way it is a confession to the Lord, a moment of transparency, and a method of repentance. In 2004, we spent the month of August traveling. We went to our home in Arizona for the first time in five months and spent two weeks there before going to visit my husband's family in California. Naturally, since our house had been sitting for five months, several things had gone haywire. It was a fun trip, but I should have expected the speed bumps I was up against.
After those busy and challenging three weeks, I found the foulest words coming from my mouth. I didn't let anyone else hear them, but I knew my Lord and Savior heard. Because my battle was my tongue, when I got tired and frustrated, I let things slip out that were so unpleasing to God! I became a poor witness of His love and patience.
After beating myself up several times, I decided I should find the root of my problem and how to fix it. Of course, I realized I had not been spending any time in the Word or in prayer because I had been so wrapped up in other things - my busyness. As a result, my tongue was a playground for the enemy. Without God's Word written on my heart daily, I was setting myself up to stumble.
Ephesians 4:21-24 beautifully states, "Since you have heard all about him [Jesus] and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness - righteous, holy and pure."
Bam! That was the sound of me getting hit between the eyes. According to verse 30, my actions brought sorrow to my Lord. That brought tears to my eyes.
I am not perfect, but praise God that he is. And praise him for his wonderful, convicting Word.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes through your word and for your forgiveness and unconditional love. Guard my lips through your power, Father.
Suggested Reading: Ephesians 4:17-31