Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Study on the Tongue

I know it has been quite a long time since I have blogged. I must admit that my time as of late has not left me any leisure for blogging. However, as I have struggled in consistency with my personal time with God, I am going to use my blog as an outlet for meditation and sharing what God is teaching me in my time with Him.

I have recently noticed how my outlook on my day and on my situation can be quickly changed by another person's words whether positive or negative. For instance, if you awaken in the morning and declare "What a glorious day today!" and every person you encounter throughout the morning says "It's dreary today", "Oh I wish it were Friday", "I hated getting up this morning", "I wish the sun would shine"; by noon you're glorious declaration will be turned to "Today is ok." Continuing through the day and still hearing only negativity about the day will continue to depress your outlook on the day to where by supper you may be saying "I can't wait to go to bed so I can wake up to a better day then today."

As women our attitudes are often too closely linked to what others say and think about us. Now I am certainly responsible for my own response to the negativity of others. Biblically I must not allow the words of others to discourage me from obeying God. Nor can I change the words of others -- only God and that person can change their thinking. However, there is another factor in this exchange of words that I can change. This factor involves my words to others. If I tell that same person seeing a dreary day about the beautiful green grass, I am adding a positive point to their day. I must guard my words so that I am edifying other believers and not causing them to sink into depression and discouragement.

Thus comes my point. I am beginning a word study on the Tongue.

Today's verse is Psalm 31:20 "You shall hide them in the secret place of your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues."

I do understand that David wrote this chapter while he was facing adversity and being hunted by men who wanted to kill him. Now I know that no one is hunting me down with the desire to physically kill me. However, Satan does desire to see my testimony destroyed. He longs to drive me into a spiritual depression and he will do so through verbal attacks from those about me -- both unsaved and saved.

The first section of the verse refers to the believer being securely hidden in the presence of God. Here I find safety and comfort knowing that by spending time in God's presence no one can harm me. The second section explicetly states why I am being hidden -- from the strife of tongues. When I hear the word strife I often think of one who is up to mischief.

Therefore, God is protecting me from the mischief other people speak. I am protected from what others are saying about me. This does not mean that I am oblivious to what is being said about me. In verse 13 the Psalmist states "For I hear the slander of many . . ." At times I will be aware of the slander and malicious statements people say about me.

By spending time in God's presence I am reminded that the only person who's thoughts I should care about are God's. It does not matter what my neighbor's think of my numerous and closely spaced children. God gave me each child, so he is glorified when I speak positively about the joy each of my children are to me. When I am in God's presence I receive fullness of joy. This joy will carry me through the negative comments and opinions I routinely face.

Verse 18 of chapter 31 states "Let the lying lips be put to silence, which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous." Here in this very chapter the poet David gives me a prayer to offer up when I do hear the verbal attacks.

Rather than allowing the negativity of others drive me into the depths of despair I need to take the attack to my Heavenly Father and pray for Him to silence the attack.

I do want to add that a person does not need to speek maliciously in order to destroy a person. A simple, "you must always be tired" is enough to drive a splinter of discontentment into the heart of a person. Recently I had a splinter, the size of a pin head, stuck in the tip of my finger. For an entire day that tiny splinter caused my finger to hurt immensly every time it touched something. A person's words are like that splinter -- no matter how small they can fester and cause pain.

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord,
I say, "You are my God . . .
Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies' sake.
Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord,
for I have called upon You;
Let the wicked be ashamed;
vv 14-17

No comments: