Lately, I have felt a bit like a loaded gun, with an itchy trigger. Ready to shoot, before knowing my intended victim. I have been warned about my tongue being full of poison (James 3:8), but as James says, I am unable to tame my tongue. This is nothing out of the ordinary for most people, but what is unusual is that I have excused it and let it happen with out much conviction. I realized it awhile ago, the faces of the people who I spewed poison on. They looked shocked that I had said something like I did.
At a point in life, I become pretty frustrated and want to take on the problems of everyone else. I realize I can really only change myself, so I really need to stay out of it. Every time, I agree with gossip or someone who is upset, I load the gun. They often don’t even know that I am building up ammunition, but I am a recovering people pleaser. I hate to see people experiencing difficulty that I could help with, but I lose the ability to help when I jump in the mix with them.
Sadly, this does not just happen in one area of my life, but it starts to show up in other areas. I forget the classic words of James,
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…”
Listening to someone does not require that I agree with them. I am just called to listen, be slow to react, and slow to become angry. When I think of this scripture, it helps me to unload the gun. I take out each bullet from each chamber, and hope to one day put the gun back in the safe and lock it up.
I might be alone in this, but have you struggled with your speech lately. Have you given up on a leader? Have you lost hope in someone you love? Have you forgot that you are a “work in progress” like everyone else?
I hope you will consider James’ words, I know they convicted my heart this morning. I hope to do better this week, starting with right now. If you see me getting off track, call me out…
(As I am writing this, someone bumped the table I am working on in a coffee shop, nearly spilling my coffee. I passed my first test…)