HOLD THY TONGUE
Can I get a witness?
My tongue used to do a lot of damage, now I am trying to tame it and use it only to uplift and encourage.
But I still fail. I am human.
Having a CRITICAL spirit is something a marriage can survive - but it usually takes casualties of war. And most often it is NOT a happy marriage. I have seen over many years, that as this spirit grows and gets refined -- that spirit will manifest itself in conversations at the dinner table. And THAT is awkward.
Have you ever been to dinner with a married couple that bickered all the time.
I am ashamed to say that for a short time period - that is what you would of heard if you were around my husband and I some years ago.
I grew up having a critical spirit around me and I never felt 'good enough'. That came from my dad -- and believe me - I LOVE MY DAD..... and I am not 'dad bashing' or 'dad blaming'. I believe he was the BEST dad for me and he did the BEST he could - he was a great dad. He was raised with more criticism than praise and probably my grandparents were raised that same way too. I am NOT blaming -- no way - it is just a fact.
My dad has changed and you can tell, he has regrets -- my time and visits with him now as an adult-- are precious moments I cherish as they are few and far between.
But that spirit altered how I looked at things, how I responded to things, and eventually it tempered what I allowed into my life. But now, I see that the CRITICAL spirit in me - is GONE...we've cast it out and even though it wants to reconnect with me at times, I take authority over it and speak LIFE and use God's Words as the CARING spirit of God redefines, prunes, or convicts me.
God's Word now - guides me.
Maybe you condemn the person as well as the action? Read Proverbs 12.18 --- we should condemn the action only -- NOT the person.
Maybe you focus on the faults of others? Read Proverbs 6.41 --- we should focus on self-examination.
12 Maybe you ridicule? Proverbs 11.12 says: whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue...
Maybe you make judgements based on appearances, respond harshly when criticized or accused by others, or maybe you lack mercy towards others....
See -- I was born with a flesh pattern to have a CRITICAL.
When in a marriage - it is VERY easy to be critical and correct and then try to 'fix'.
Just being married for 5 years, and sitting in church or listening to talk radio quickly convicted me of my critical spirit and I changed many of the ways. I thought about things and I recognized what it was. And I raised my children -- as if that critical spirit was GONE.
I spoke LIFE into them.
.....Funny how when we think we are raising our kids to be 'different from us'....they end up like us anyway and many of the traits we THOUGHT we were not passing on......we still did.....
It really was not until God allowed a crisis of faith to come into my life -- that I really saw .....and understood - I WAS SUCH a sinner - still am, but saved by grace.
I began to see that my critical spirit and my judgements and my condemnations based on thoughts and feelings were my ....spiritual adultery ...my sin that kept me away from God's favor and I repented.
It has been a process and God is NOT finished with me. We are sort of like ONIONS...we peel in layers and just when I get ahold of one such 'criticalness'.......The Holy Spirit reveals the NEXT part that needs to be dealt with.
In all of that - HOLDING my tongue has been my saving grace.
To ask God to change an attitude or fix something and then waiting on HIM to move and speak....therefore the situation gets corrected or -- my husband gets convicted and I am not the one that pointed it out - get my drift? God wins. I win.
So, today's prayer is for that wife or husband that knows -- they need some deliverance from a critical spirit -- because two people in a relationship have it HARD enough -- we don't need to be critical and make our lives more stressful. And besides, blessings flow when we yield to our flesh and become people with CARING spirits rather than CRITICAL ones!