Gracious speech is like clover honey–
good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
Gracious speech. Man. Tough one sometimes.
This verse was right on time for me this morning…see, I have had a week of “growing pains” in this area…well, my whole life perhaps!! My thoughts today are that you can have the best intentions on who you want to be, how you want to treat and talk to others, and when things are easy you can be that person. But how about when things aren’t so easy? How about when you are frustrated with behavior around you or don’t feel good physically? Somewhere along the way I have heard this little phrase: “when you are squeezed is when you find out what’s on the inside.” My thought is that you can intend to be a kind, patient, loving person but you won’t know if you really are until you are tested. I can aim to have gracious speech but only what is truly in my heart will come out of my mouth in “the squeeze.” If I don’t have grace flowing in my heart for people it will not come out of my mouth when I am frustrated with them.
This is why I chose the name “Mixed Motives” for my little blog…all that matters in anything we do or say is what is truly in our hearts. Even with starting a blog, I knew that I would “fight” against impure motives…wanting approval for what I write…a chance to feel good about myself. But here is the truth–it always has to be about love. Not human love…our capacity for love is quite shallow, really. Sure, we pull together for catastrophe and tragedy but in the small ways…the ways that reveal who we truly are…we cannot love and live in grace on our own. Human nature is to look out for ourselves, defend and prove ourselves…fight for our rights and what is fair. The hardest lesson of my almost 34 years so far has been that God’s love is not about what is fair. He will take your mess and heal you, help you and give you what you don’t deserve. Jesus, God Himself in the flesh of a man, took on every burden of rebellion in death though He had not spoken one wrong word. I am so thankful for that and it has worked really well for me! What has been so hard is in turn, in my every day life, realizing my part is to love others with that same “crazy love.” My first instinct is to react to injustice and wrong behavior in the terms of consequence…but for me these last few months have been an eye-opening lesson in extravagant grace…from me to others. It is like chewing nails sometimes and I certainly don’t always get it right (like this past week!) but I am seeing what ridiculous grace does for people. This unexpected show of God’s love that has absolutely nothing to do with what is fair or what we deserve. To me, this is the great crossroad of Christianity…will I place my rights and what is fair on the altar every day and let it burn…will I give up my “right” to be right, to defend myself, to insist on what I deserve? No, not every day. But on the days I do I sense the possibilities of what He can do though supernatural love and grace flowing through those of us who have received it to those who need it…and the humbling part is that I will always be both…a woman who both needs to receive and give amazing love and grace…so out of my mouth and life can flow what is truly in my heart.