This past weekend I had a big reality check that I had gotten sloppy with my habit of controlling my mouth. While I have successfully tackled cutting profanity out… most of the time, I caught myself saying something completely out of character – telling a story that just wasn’t mine to tell. I have a pretty strict rule that if I am not a main character in a story, then it isn’t my story to tell and I don’t speak to it. However, that didn’t happen this past weekend.
I said something mean, judgmental, and NONE OF MY BUSINESS, and I instantly felt convicted. I was literally brought to tears and grieved by my thoughtless words and quickly ended the conversation, in tears and went immediately to pray and repent and pour my heart out to God, asking Him to correct my heart and to keep my ears to His voice that my words would bring life and be an extension of His love and grace.
It’s easy to lose track of our words, to get caught up in conversations, or to compromise our own commitment to staying in our lane. We can justify it as not wanting to be rude, but in truth, we are compromising our own integrity just to make someone else feel better about something they are doing that is wrong. While it’s not our place to judge them or even correct them, we have every right to say, “I’m sorry, I am just not comfortable with this conversation.”
Our words are the indicator of what is in our hearts. And our thoughts are an indicator of who we are, and who we will become. That whole “as a man thinketh, so is he” Proverbs 23:7 thing. I lacked discipline in my words, and tracing that back to the root cause, it stems from allowing negativity into my mind, listening to negativity and gossip, reading it, and replaying it in my mind, to the point that it got down in my spirit and eventually became my words.
Gossip, judgment, and negativity are like infections that start in one area and quickly infect other areas. They may start with what we see, and quickly infect what we think about, which infects our character, and that infects our heart and our heart bubbles up into words that we speak and infect others.
I had an alarming revelation about that. It would be better for me to socially distance than to infect others with my sin. If I am not going to bring life to others and be an extension of the love of Christ, people would be spiritually better off without contact with me. HARSH! But true.
I have a responsibility to myself, to the people I encounter, and to Christ to dedicate my words, thoughts, and actions to Him completely. May I become a mirror image of Him and an extension of His love and grace to His people.