Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Me and My Big Mouth [Day 4: Harsh Words]

I have a tendency to speak sharp and severe words, especially to those I love the most - my husband and my daughter. In the past the people on the receiving end of my harsh words were my students. I had high expectations in my classroom. I expected students to work hard, to be respectful, and kind. Today I realize that it wasn't my expectations that were harsh, but my response to their failing to meet them. To further my idiocrasy was that I expected them to be respectful and kind to me and to others, but I was failing to treat them in the same manner.

On many days, I still find myself unsuccessfully meeting the biblical expectation to be kind. Which leads me to my discussion on day 4's topic in this series titled, Me and My Big Mouth...

Harsh Words

Women's discipleship revolves around one vital purpose: our conduct. When women are discipled their objective is clearly defined in the church namely that the word of God may not be reviled by opponents. Titus 2:3 illustrates the qualities that qualify an older women to disciple and those are the same qualities that she is asked to pass on. One of those qualities is kindness.

There's been too many times, in my anger and frustration, where my conduct was anything but kind. I still struggle with it and am constantly praying for a change of heart and that my words are His Words.

There's a few reasons why this is necessary,

"There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." 
- Proverbs 12:18
In other words rash words hurt. Synonyms for rash include words like careless, reckless, thoughtless, and inconsiderate. This proverb teaches us to think about how our words will affect the hearer before speaking them.

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." - Proverbs 15:1
The resulting contrast between kind words and harsh words is pretty obvious after reading this proverb.

"She opens her mouth wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." - Proverbs 31:26
Proverbs 31 illustrates a wife, mother, and godly woman who lives her life to serve others and glorify God. Speaking with kindness is one of the ways she does this.

Ephesians 4:25 begins with the explanation that we need to speak truthfully with one another not letting the sun go down on our anger, because we are one in Christ. There will be times that one will be rightly angry, but self-control is key. Kindness is still necessary. Paul goes on to explain why kindness with one another is necessary even when we're rightfully angry, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." - Ephesians 4:29-32

I pray these four passages lay on my heart, so in moments I need the reminder to speak kindly the Holy Spirit brings it to mind and I honor and glorify Him in all that I say and do.

The next topic for this series on Me and My Big Mouth will be on excessive talking; here's what I've written so far...

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