You know there’s an old saying………I know you know it……..”If mamma ain’t happy, then ain’t nobody happy!” It seems to be true. When I hurt, it inevitably seems to trickle down to everyone in the family.
Recently, I got my feelings hurt by a critique someone made about a project I was working on. It just seemed to cut down deep and I began to weep on the inside. Soon, I became quietly bitter in my heart and I felt a need to vent…………………..and out came the venom that had built up in my heart to my family. It’s not the first time it’s happened either. It comes in forms of silent treatment, quick ill-tempered remarks, arguments that seem to consume the day, etc., etc.
James has a powerful argument for this of course in chapter 3: 6-12. It says, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.”
I can see what kind of damage my tongue does sometimes. For example, it turns away my husband’s smile; it strikes bitterness to the hearts of my teenagers; and it can push my closest friends away!! It is a privilege to speak words of life, words of His life, and so often I speak words of death…….or at least pain.
James continues in the next verses to give the reasons why we speak so poorly at times. He goes says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.” Our desires can be so powerful and we can in turn use our tongues like a whip to lop everone’s head off.
But James does give us hope! He tells us how to speak, where it should come from, and what it will yield when used rightly. He says,” But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Those who make peace? I want peace in my house…… I want peace in my marriage…… I want peace in my relationships…… Then, my speech must come from above. It must come from Jesus. He must be King of my heart, instead of me being the evil Queen of Hearts as in Alice in Wonderland.
So, is it really good to be queen? Not in the Dillard household. I need to yield to the King. I’ll start with one prayer at a time!!