Monday, July 4, 2011

Back in the Journal

March 2, 2002

"for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say." Luke 12:12
"I said, 'I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin, I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence." Psalm 39:1

Father, help me to deal with conflict the way your son Jesus Christ would. Help me to control my tongue and my anger. Help me to forget and forgive. Help me to admit when I am wrong. Help me to know when to stand firm firm and when to compromise.
In Jesus name,

March 4, 2002

Father, I just want to praise You and thank You for Your mercy and grace! I thank You for Your faithfulness. I pray that I will remain just as faithful to You! The devil tried all day today to make me lose my temper and lose my peace but Your Holy Spirit remained strong in me and the devil did not succeed. I thank You for my peace and praise You for my strength because I know that all I am is of You and from You!
In Jesus name,

Now I do not recall what prompted either on of these journal entries in March 2002. It is apparent that my tongue and temper had gotten the best of me. It could have been a fight with my husband. It could have been a telemarketer. It could have been some stranger cutting me off in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. I don't remember, but it was enough for me to write it down. It was enough to convict me and have me searching out the Scriptures for help in case it happened again. It was apparently a strategy of the enemy that worked quit well because it only took two days before I had an opportunity to trust in the Scripture references I had written down.

What I gather from this journal look-back is that God was faithful. His Word was faithful. When I trusted in Him and pulled out my Sword of Truth I was victorious. This day I had success. Wouldn't it be wonderful if when we won a victory it was the last battle on that particular subject we would have to fight. Unfortunately it just doesn't work that way. It leans more in the direction that the more battles you win the harder the next attack comes. The enemy of our souls just does not give up that easily. How I praise God that greater is He who is within me than he who is in the world.

The thing is we never know who is watching us. We are at all times affecting someone- in our home, in our families, in our neighborhood, in our communities. The wicked are around us, the lost are around us, the saved are around us, fallen ones are around us, angels of mercy are around us.

We never know when what comes out of our mouth will be used against us or used to blaspheme the name of our God among the lost. We never know when our words will hurt or how they will affect someone we didn't even know was listening. We never know when our tempermant can be used to turn someone away from our testimony of the grace of our God.

However, at the same time we can know how a sincere apology will be used for us. We may never know when seeking God's forgiveness and the forgiveness of the ones we have wounded with our tongue and temperment will be used by God to demonstrate His grace, but it will be. I cannot even begin to share all the times I have had to apologize for harsh words to my husband. Nor can I even begin to share all the times I have had to sit down with my children and tell them I am sorry for my harsh words and tone. I can't even begin to tell of the times I have had to call and apologize to a clerk at a store for allowing something out of their control to frustrate me.

I can recall one specific incident that happened at the photo booth at Wal-Mart, probably around the time of these journal entries mentioned. I don't remember why I was upset, but something had happened and for whatever reason the store policy would not fix what I felt was their mistake. Any way I do remember being very rude to this poor clerk who was really just trying to do her job. I felt justified in my anger and rude words and tone... until about the parking lot. Then I spent the drive home explaining to God how I was justified in my attitude... yeh, that didn't work out to well.

So I walk in the door of our home and head to the phone book and search out the Wal-Mart photo section phone number and call the photo booth and proceed to apologize to this woman. I had to confess to her that I was a Christian and I had not been a very good example of my Christ.

The funny thing is that I think she was probably more affected by my call of confession and apology than she would have been had I been perfectly behaved in front of her the first time. Not that I in anyway recommend this course and order of action, it's just that all things work together for good for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose and what the enemy intended for evil God will use for good if we will just trust and obey.

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