The Morgan Church Devotional

a pastor's thoughts about...uhm...stuff

Name:
Location: Morgan, VT., United States

follower of Jesus. husband & father. friend. pastor.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Words

i'm (along with some others) still thinking about last sunday's sermon. words...words...my words.

what am i speaking?
what are people hearing?
what is the tone i use?

it is very challenging.

that's why james asks: who can tame the tongue? we use a bridle to control a horse and rudders to control ships...but our tongues? we barely have a hold on them.

and we allow our loose tongues to wreck havoc in places we shouldn't.

home.

i recently had this realization. i was at a one day seminar about dealing with anger in children. as part of the process, we were asked about what makes us angry and where we get angry the most...

one woman said "i get angry the most at home. bc they annoy me the most". i was put off by her comment...it's only half right. we get angry the most at home...that's true. but, not bc they annoy us the most...that's avoiding the issue...it's placing the blame on them. we get angry the most at home (or, better said, we act out in our anger most at home) bc we feel we have some sort of right to act out at home...

a few weeks ago i recieved a phone call from a person who needed help. no problem. he asked, can i come bring him the $ and food...well, no. i'll meet you at the church building at 130pm. then, at 12pm i get a phone call from a lady from our church---"uhm...there's a guy here who says he is supposed to meet you. he said he'll just wait for you, while i work."

well, i can't leave a man i don't know in the building with a lady. that's not wise. i also can't tell the lady to go and leave a man i don't know wandering around our building. what could i do? stop what i'm doing and go over to the church building and take care of it...even tho i am right in the middle of something that i didn't want to interrupt...i was inconvienced. and...i was, at least a little, angry.

but, of course, i couldn't act angry. i couldn't rant and rave...or even speak unkindly...after all, i'm the pastor. and, at least i like to think, i'm professional about my duties. i did remind him of our appointment time and that i wasn't planning on coming over this early and that this put me out a little...he didn't care much about it. which made me a bit angrier! so, i gave him some help (and he asked for more...) and sent him on his way.

later that day, my wife inconvienced me in some way...it was so minor, i don't even remember what it was!

but...i was angry. and, worse, i acted out in my anger.

now, i didn't say mean, cruel or even off color things. i didn't hit or bite or smack. i didn't demean or debase with my words.

those things ARE NEVER ACCEPTABLE for any one (esp a follower of Jesus) to say or do. it is never ok for us to assasinate character...it is never ok to use our words to belittle or hurt other people.

never.
never.
never.

it is not acceptable for us to use words like dumb, stupid, ugly, no good, wish i never met you, you were a mistake or any thing of that nature...

those words cripple and hurt and escalate the situation rather than resolve it. those are words that lead to death, not life.

none the less, in my own way i acted out in my anger against my wife in a way i was unwilling to with a stranger.

why is that?

bc her infraction was greater than his? no.
bc she made me angrier? no.

for no good reason, really.

here's the saddest thing:

i did it "because i could". God help me.

it isn't fair. it isn't nice. it isn't acceptable. it isn't Christ-like. we shouldn't do it.

i was honest with you...you can take this and run with it...exaggerate what i said to mean things i never said or say...you can use to to say what a bad guy that pmike is...he's just a hypocrite...

that's scary to me...i don't want that to happen. that's the risk of trying to be transparent and honest.

but i hope you listen...evaluate your own life, your own actions, your own words (instead of evaluating mine)...

and (if need be) make a decision to grow and change and become more Christ-like.

bc that is the whole point.

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