Elul Day 10 House rule #6--Words Matter
God is our Creator--the Giver of Life. It is His plan that all should love Him and each other. He not only wants us to live that way in the here and now but He wants us to love Him and others into eternity. He sent Jesus to die for us so that we would be free from the law of sin and death. It was to set us free from the very things that could destroy our lives physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and most importantly, spiritually. He came to set us free from negative emotions such as anger, resentment, bitterness, jealousy, revenge, jealousy and even unforgiveness. His goal for us is an abundant life of love, peace, joy, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, perseverance and self-control. (There is a righteous anger...but this is to spurn us to good deeds of justice and mercy and can be used to let us know when we need to set appropriate boundaries)
We have heard it said that our words carry the power of life and death. Jesus took this “house rule” to the heart level when He said, “But I’m telling you, if you hold anger in your heart toward a fellow believer, you are subject to judgement. And whoever demeans and insults a fellow believer is answerable to the congregation. And whoever calls down curses upon a fellow believer is in danger of being sent to a fiery hell.” THe Word goes on to say that if we remember an unresolved quarrel we had with someone we are to immediately go and apologize to the one we offended. In essence, we are to keep our relationships in good standing and have nothing negative between us.
We see that the New Testament also teaches us to speak a blessing, not cursing, even over those who reject and persecute us--our so called enemies. I have found that as I begin to pray in love for people’s souls to be cleansed and for them to see how they are not walking in the fullness of love, my heart turns to compassion to those who are hurting others because of the hurt and pain in their own lives. My heart begins to pray for their emotional and mental well-being, for them to be healed of the trauma and pain in their lives and for them to find peace and joy in God. God delights in mercy and grace. Blessed are the peacemakers.
How do you manage your negative emotions towards others? I have heard it said that much of our anger stems from being unable to control others to act the way we desire. Is that you? We can’t just say we are going to control our anger. We can’t just stuff it inside and not deal with it or it grows until we explode. We must look at the things that make us angry and ask for God’s perspective on those situations and learn to see other people through His lens. We must learn to take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, confess and repent, and then pray and bless them. Most importantly, we are called to have hearts of compassion.
Is there anyone you are holding a grudge against? Anyone that has hurt you in the past that you haven’t forgiven? Is your pride keeping you from initiating conversations of reconciliation? Have you forgiven God for things you have against HIm because of misunderstandings of who He is or how He behaves? Have you let bad feelings get in the way of your marriage and cover up the love that always remains even if you bury it?
The Word reminds us that love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense..it never fails to believe the best of others. God wipes your offenses away when you confess and repent. Are you able to put things in the past rather than carry anger into the future?
Remember that your words matter but God is looking even deeper into your heart...what is He seeing that needs attention?
Follow the season of Teshuvah during this Month of Elul with Guest blogger Denise Dee Lytle Gibbs who originally posted these blogs on her Facebook page Fall Feast Prayer Initiative.