I know that it has been a long time since I’ve shared with you what the Lord has been teaching me. The good news is that is not at all a reflection of what I’ve been learning. Quite the contrary. The past few months have been an overwhelming movement of God in my life—like never before. I have a hard time even verbalizing to myself and my closest friends what is going on, much less blog world.
I would never be able to go back and share everything, but I can share what I have learned this past week. Never before has the Lord given me a word and then so challenged my application of it. Never.
First, you should know that I have been horrible my entire life with memorizing scripture. It’s not that I can’t, it’s just that I haven’t. I know that I could—I have songs still memorized from the 80s, I know I could memorize a few verses. I’ve always been so in love with God’s Word—I could study it for hours a day and never tire of it. But for some reason scripture memory has always been something I didn’t do. Maybe I it was fear (or maybe just laziness). Anyway, I decided that it’s time to get over myself and 2 weeks ago it all changed. I prayed for a verse and the Lord brought me to:
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:19-21
Familiar text, but I needed to not just memorize it, but meditate and apply it. And boy did the Lord do that!
Friday was a pretty horrible day… but it started good.
I came into my office and was surprise by the Willow Tree of Grace figurine and the sweetest, most encouraging letter from my husband. He knew this had been a hard season and wanted to encourage me in what He had seen the Lord doing in me and assure that the Lord’s grace would continue one. So he wanted the WT figuring to be a reminder to me on my desk. So sweet! What’s even better is that morning I had snoozed right through my time with the Lord and was regretting doing that the moment I walked out my front door. So it’s like He gave me time with Him even though I hadn’t made time. Make sense?
Then I opened my email. You never know in ministry who might send you something… and that day it wasn’t good. It doesn’t matter who or what, that’s not what I’m talking about today. But what the Lord taught me through it. In a minute all that the Lord had accomplished for good, satan tried to take over and destroy. I’ll be honest in total shock/sadness/hurt/etc. he almost got a foothold.
What amazed me is the power of words. Chris’ words of encouragement had totally lifted me up and in a minute, someone’s email completely defeated me.
Lesson #1: Know that your words have power—you can use them for good or evil. It is either or. Your words are either for good or evil, all words mean something.
Lesson #2: Know that HIS WORD (the Bible) has power even greater.
I’ve been so amazed at how the Lord orchestrated me to start meditating on James 1:19-21 before that email had come. He knew I needed to learn the power of hearing quickly, speaking slowly and getting angry slowly. And also know that anger doesn’t bring about the righteousness of God. And the only way to fix that is to implant HIS WORD in me!! So that’s what I’ve been doing. Soaking up every minute of it!!
The other thing that He showed me through this and in relation to James 1:19-21 is that not only do I need to be this way with others, but I have to be this way with God too!! I need to be quick to hear Him, I need to be slow to speak and slow to get angry.
The other thing I’ve learned about anger is that forgiveness, as a Christian, is a must. But I studied the word and I wish I had the greek definition with me, but I don’t. But basically the greek word for a human forgiving another human simply means to pardon, to send on one’s way. As a Christian I had always thought that I needed to be besties with someone after they had wronged me, I don’t. I simply need to pardon them and send them on their way.
Sorry if that is jumbled, but I wanted to share with you what I have been learning.
Any other tips on how to control words or anger?