Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hope yesterday's motivational thoughts got you thinking about the question - Am I living a life that requires much faith?

In addition to that wake up call, I got another - on Tuesday, we read about controlling our tongue from James 3:1-12 and then when I checked Lysa Terkeurst's blog for the day, this is what I read:
The very last good nerve
In the South we have a phrase that appropriately describes the way one might feel after returning home from a wonderful trip to many demands of many people:"I only have one good nerve and you are about to get on it!"You see when mama is away, the little people tend to play. Chores sometimes only get half done. Wet laundry gets left in the washer for days and stinks to high heaven. And the drying rack that mama treasures because the dryer sins against all things with shrinkage possibility, gets broken into six pieces.Not that I came home and started complaining or pointing these things out or letting any of this get on my VERY LAST GOOD NERVE. Or anything like that. For all three of you that can identify with getting frustrated with those you love the very most in the whole wide world, there is hope.I'm learning there is a silver lining to every frustrating experience. Every time I'm pushed to the point where I want to raise my voice and let my head spin around three times, I have to see it as an opportunity to let God interrupt my natural way of responding. These can be a growth opportunities, if I chose to react God's way instead of my way. But oh what a battle this can be! My feelings say, "Yell! Scream! You should be stinkin' mad over this!"God's spirit in me says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath. No good can come out of losing your temper."But then my feelings say, "Oh no ma'am. It will make you feel so much better to just have a little hissy fit."God's spirit in me says, "What might feel good in the moment will just pile more turmoil and yuck on this situation."Ephesians 4: 29 tells us, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the holy spirit with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, and slander along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as Christ God forgave you."Why is this so hard to do?I remember seeing June Clever on the TV. Nothing got on that woman's nerves! She was always responding so gently with, "that's okay dear."I'm convinced June had none of the Italian blood that I have coursing through my veins. But I'm also convinced that with God all things are possible. And even if you have fire cracker blood like I do, there is one thing that has helped me more than anything in the staying calm department...pausing.When something happens that triggers an instant rise in my frustration, if I can pause just for a second or two, God can interrupt my natural response and redirect me.If I respond instantly, my natural reaction can be so ugly sometimes.Pause.It's a wonderful thing.Pause. God will you help me?It's a redirecting thing.Pause. God will you show me?It's a growth thing I'm slowly learning.Pause. God will you grow me into the woman I so desire to be?Pause.

I think God is trying to tell me something. I think I need to do alot more "pausing" before I open my mouth for any reason. Most times it's open before my brain begins to work so maybe the pause will give my brain and God, an opportunity to intercede.

Now, on to James 3:13-18 "Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

Do you know people who are really book smart but have no common sense whatsoever? Well, just like being book smart, we all can gain worldly wisdom but godly wisdom, comes only from God. Godly wisdom and understanding produces more than prestige in this world - it produces fruit in us. When we have godly understanding, we act in a way that represents our Lord. Our character is what shows our wisdom. Are we making the right choices? Are we setting a godly example? Are your motives for gaining wisdom pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy?

Don't allow others perception of what wisdom is to alter yours. Remember, God's wisdom can only come from Him - not what this world describes as wisdom.

Have a great day
Living fearlessly

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