Friday, October 17, 2014

Stirred Up

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

I love it when my wife stirs things up in the kitchen. When she stirs up her special chocolate chip cookie dough, it comes out of the oven in what we affectionately call “healing cookies.” OK, I don’t mean that literally, but they are so good, they change the attitude of people eating them, even the sick! 

But some things are not good when stirred up. Take communication, for example. When people, and yes, I mean Christ followers too, use harsh, sarcastic, mean, sharp, cutting, abrasive, hateful words, it stirs the heart of others into anger, which is not a good thing. 

I’ve heard Christ followers rationalize the use of harsh language with this excuse, “Well, they had it coming to them!” Or, “I had to defend myself.” Be honest now, what excuses have you come up with for stirring things up with your harsh words — that is, if you’ve ever used harsh words!

As our Savior hung on the cross, people lashed out at Him. They heaped ridicule and abusive words on Him. Mark’s gospel says it like this, “Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads…” [Mark 15:29 - NASB].

He took it all on, including the punishment for our sins. His ultimate response was rising in triumph from the grave on the third day with the message: Your sins—even your harsh words—are completely forgiven; the price for your sins is PAID IN FULL!

When we commit our lives to Christ, the Spirit of God resides in our hearts and minds producing godly character. We call it The Fruit of the Spirit, two of which are gentleness and self-control. 

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can effectively live out Paul’s exhortation to the Christ followers in Ephesus when He wrote, Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers [Ephesians 4:29].

In the heat of a moment it’s difficult to reflect on what you’re doing. But when you can, ask yourself, “Are my words harsh or gentle?” “Am I stirring up anger or giving a gentle answer?”

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. Proverbs 15:1-2

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