Can I Shut My Mouth Already?

cozy living room for in the morning bible time I am back at my spot on the couch with my blanket and warm cup of beverage. Have you been joining me? In your own sacred spot, whether that be outside, in a park, in your closet, on your face, in your chair? Last week I was convicted time and time again, catching myself speaking before thinking. You can catch up on that post HERE.

Because this Truth of our words has been impacting me in such a convicting way, I didn't want to leave it. I hungered for more of His heart, more of His will, more of Him. He is ever so patient with me and my fickle self as I lose control of my tongue. I am ever so grateful that He loved me before I messed up...before I did good. The same is for you, friend.

Have you ever thought of being slow to speak as giving others the gift of being slow to speak as well? And quick to listen? That when we bite our tongue and let our hearts rest, not rushing forth with what we are dying to spill over into any ears that are willing to listen, we give others a gift. A gift to process and speak and share. We can wait and listen and respond as they patiently and slowly speak. It is a gift between the two conversationalists. Something I have been pondering.

There is my coffee...right next to my fall candle.

I am constantly humiliating myself with my lack of self-control of my tongue - I am realizing how many conflicts would dissolve {and possibly not exist} if only I were perfect at listening, waiting, then responding. Listening to what someone is saying, trying to fully and truly understand. Not just listen through one ear and out the other. But fully grasp where their heart is at. As I listen and let their heart sink in, I wait and pause and reflect, PRAY. Wait until my initial impulse to believe the worst dissolves and passes. Even ask some clarifying questions. Then and only then should I respond with a heart full of patient graciousness. Responding with a clear honesty, with brevity even.

Are you like me? Slow to hear, quick to speak, and quick to impatience? Come and exhort yourself with me.

To truly listen is a mark of humility. It reveals that I see you as more important than I. It shows that I think what you have to share and say means enough to me that I may deny my self, quiet my self, and listen. Fully listening before I respond reveals that I do not see myself as a wise human - it shows that I am not leaning on my own understanding {Proverbs 3:5-6}. Oh how desperately I yearn to grow in this. Every time I fail, I am confront with how deeply un-incredible I am, forcing me to lean on His understanding instead of my own.

To wait is to love. Love is patient {1 Corinthians 13:4}. Waiting before we respond may be a call from God to love someone. Waiting allows me to get past my initial impulse which is so often terribly wrong, and ask Jesus to wisdom and insight. Also, the heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking, {proverbs 15} and in order to think carefully, I must be quiet and wait and patiently ask Jesus for insight.

To respond after listening and waiting is such an honor. Then my words are used to build the other person up {Ephesians 4:29} and used as sweet loving guidance to their souls. If I had waited on the Lord, then my response will be full of honest clarity, gentle love, and truth in the most bold form. All covered in the confidence of God.

Dearest Jesus, help! Oh how desperately I need your assistance in life. Humble me, Jesus, teach me to wait patiently and to lean on your understanding. Teach me to respond graciously. Whatever it takes, Jesus, teach me.

James 1:19, slow to speak, quick to listen, so to anger

James says, "no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison" but in Luke we are reminded that, "what is impossible with man is possible with God." As the norm, it will be on my chalk board and tucked into little areas of my life. But more than anything, I will rely on the gift of the Holy Spirit to strengthen and transform me in my marriage, in my ministry, in my life.

I don't pursue these things because I feel that I have to or that I must follow rules. I chase these things because I have experienced the crazy grace of Jesus Christ. I have felt His love and peace and joy that is often unexplainable. The freedom that His way of life offers is worth chasing, it's worth falling madly in love with Him and His love letter. As a result of experiencing this freedom and love, I want so badly to honor Him and bring Him glory. To love Him as I live day by day. And that is why I chase Him in his word.

My question is: can I just shut my mouth already?

Thank you, Jesus, for your grace. That I am not defined by my loose tongue.

james 1:19, #fallinlovewithhisloveletter james 1:19, slow to speak, quick to listen, #fallinlovewithhisloveletter

What are some ways you are being convicted and transformed? Are you falling in love with His love letter?