Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Talking, Talking, Talking
I make a lot of mistakes, every day. Most of them have to do with opening my mouth too much and too soon. The Bible verse I struggle with most is James 1:19 where we're told to be slow to speak. I'm quick to speak. In fact, I'm fast to speak. I'm the fastest. If there were an Olympic gold medal to be had for opening your mouth quicker than everyone else, I would win it.
I do try. In fact, as a kid I use to pray that God would make me one of those quiet people that everyone likes who doesn't speak much but when they do everyone listens because they know it will be worth it. This wasn't just an occasional prayer. In junior high, every time we took communion and prayed at the altar, I would pray this prayer. Yes, I know there are much more important things to pray about, but in my junior high mind being likable topped the list.
I don't think there is such a thing as an unanswered prayer (despite Garth Brooks song). I think sometimes the answer is simply "no," or "wait," or "be patient." I've learned in years since that God most likely chuckled to Himself as I prayed those prayers, thinking "just wait to see what I'll do with your propensity to speak." I do believe God made me a talker and I do believe God is using my gift of gab for His glory and for His kingdom...just not all the time. Being called to speak does not equal being called to speak always.
And so I continue to pray for the patience and obedience to be slow to speak - not so that everyone likes me, I've given up on that. Rather, I pray that God will make me slow to speak so that I take time to listen to Him. I pray God will make me slow to speak so that I can hear what He's saying through the people around me. I pray God will make me slow to speak so I don't talk over Him as He's speaking into someone else's life.
I also pray that whenever I do speak it would be God-honoring, honest, sincere, gentle and in love.
How about you? Have you listened to God today or just talked to Him? Make time for both.