A Tight Rein

Sometimes the truth stings.

Sometimes it hits us in a vulnerable spot – an area of weakness.

If we are believers, the Holy Spirit convicts me and convicts you of things in our lives that we need to change.  One of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to point out things to us that we need to stop and other things that we need to start.  He does this in a positive “you have the potential to be better in this area” way.  He says, “you are loved as you are and changing this will help you grow into everything God created you to be”  in our heads. His voice can point very clearly to an issue but is always helpful and encouraging.

The Holy Spirit is not the negative, whispering voice some of us hear in our heads reminding us of all our failures and telling us we’ll never be good enough.  That’s Satan.  Don’t listen to him.  Turn him off.

I love how God speaks with a practical and direct voice to me from the letter of James 1: 26,

“If anyone  considers himself religious and yet does not have a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Boom!

Ouch!

The first time I read this with my eyes really open, I spent several days thinking about how this related to me.  I took a critical look at what I talk about and who I talk about.  Are my conversations helpful?  Encouraging?  Building up the other person?  Building up the people who aren’t there?

First, I realized that my conversations could be more encouraging.  We all need encouragement- especially today.  I’m a thinker and a fixer so I can easily skip talking about all the things going well and focus on the issues being discussed.  I am now trying to make sure my conversations include regular and genuine encouragement.

Some of my conversations with my close, Christian friends get into discussing the difficult relationships in my life so they can be brutally honest and painful.  But having these discussions with mature Christians helps me get a different perspective of situations and that is very helpful to me.   After meditating on this verse,  I have tried to make sure in these conversations that I am presenting an evenhanded description of the issues, keeping unkind and venting-type discussion out of it.

One of the things God has called me to be is his light in this very dark and confused world.

What I say reflects on him – good or bad.

Please help me be a good reflection of your love and truth, Abba Father.