Last night, as I was coming in from the parking lot at the hotel where I am staying, I ran into a continual stream of sweet women who are arriving for our Mom Heart Conference in North Carolina this weekend. It struck me how each one has issues, burdens, stories and decisions to make. How profoundly important it is for me to seek God today, to ask Him what He wants me to say, to ponder how I might point them to Him.
As I look down the corridors of my life, I remember how many times my children have come to me in secret, "Mama, I want to love God but I am having so many doubts." "Mama, I am in a relationship with a person who is lying about life to others. Do I confront this or stay silent? How do I handle this?"" What do you think about this relationship I am in?" This choice of school? This job? I need to make this important decision--but don't know what to think.
Scripture tells us that, "The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things."
When my children, husband or friends come to me, they need to know I have been soaking myself in the wisdom of God, so that they can draw the wisdom of God from me when they need to have guidance.
Interesting that it is the heart of the righteous which ponders before answering. When I have had a quiet time and spent time filling my heart up with the love and forgiveness and encouragement of God, then my heart is ready to be like His to those in my arena.
If we understand that we are to reach our world with the messages of God, then we will see our loved ones through the filter of the eyes of our mind as those whose hearts need to be filled with the love and goodness and truth of God.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," applies to husbands, friends, children, in-laws, neighbors--everyone in our circle of life.
What does this mean? For someone to reach my heart, I need those who love me and accept me for who I am, to listen to me in spite of my doubts, imperfections, failures. I will trust the one who seems to have integrity in relationship to me. Then I am much more likely to befriend them and get close to them. However, if someone is critical of me, or false in life or I always feel judged, I will avoid that person.
If this is the way I am reached, through the love and acceptance of others, then I know that my others will respond similarly. If I see their hearts need to be unconditionally accepted, as they are, even in all of their immaturity and perfection, then I will invest in a legacy of good, kind, restoring, encouraging words that build souls and memories of love into their very being.
Conversely, words of complaint and condemnation drive our children, spouse, and friends far from us. Words of kindness, care, encouragement can bring them close to us. We must choose and build the kind of legacy we want to have.
I am asking the Lord for myself, that which He talks about in Isaiah 50:4 ...
"The Lord has given me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple."
Do we sustain the weary with our words? Do I seek to be patient with a sleepy toddler, an awkward and frustrated teen, a weary and over-loaded husband, a depressed and discouraged friend? Are my words a fountain of hope and righteousness, or death, discouragement, and a piling of darkness?
In Matthew 12: 36-37, Jesus says "every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account of in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned."
Scary thought! I tend to talk a lot and I do have a critical spirit, so I have a lot to repent of!
And so I have asked for forgiveness. I have asked God to teach me to be one who practices giving words of grace and life.
I have been finding that the more I seek to sow words of life, to take initiative to really tell people how much I love and appreciate them, to give words of life, that my own heart has grown in love and in peace and acceptance of them and of myself. It is as all the other areas in which I learn to obey God, that in my obedience, I eventually become blessed. How patient a Father He is! How wise are His ways in my life.
Dear Lord, I love you! My wonderful, patient, loving, grace-giving, servant Lord. You enrich my life with your love and training. You sustain me in my weariness with your words. You bless me by your gentleness and faithfulness. Know that I love you today with all of my heart. Bless those who read these words today with a well springing up from their own hearts, with words of life and beauty and love. Let those who need words of love, receive them from you. Then, fill their homes with love, life, beauty and give them grace today to live in your grace. Amen.
Grace and peace today.