Over the past week my aunt came to visit. She is a very strong woman of God. My uncle, her husband, is a Pastor in Arkansas. She has been a believer for many, many years and I believe she probably has single handedly been the praying force in our family (as not too many of us have been believers for very long). I don’t think there’s one thing that you can bring to her that she doesn’t have a scripture for, or some advice or suggestions. So, When she came to visit, we went out for some “alone” time. See, when she comes, the entire family and extended family, FLOCK to where she is to see her before she leaves. SO, this particular visit, we got to spend some time together, just me and her and one of my other cousins. While we were visiting, I was telling her about a problem I’ve had. It’s hard to admit, because it is so ungodly and unattractive, but I have a cursing problem. I guess you could say, I have very little to no control over my mouth when I get agitated (to put it lightly).
Well, my aunt text me, almost every day, something inspiring and the other day this was her text:
“Did you ever think of yourself as a billboard? The next time you see one, think of it as yourself for Jesus! This is what your “billboard” saying? “Do you want who I have (Jesus)? Do you want Joy, everlasting peace, etc.?” You are the only billboard some people read! Have a great day in Jesus! Love you bunches!!”
And the next text was:
“Add to your billboard: call 53787 (Jesus) He’ll answer every time!”
AWESOME! I had never thought of it that way before. I mean, think about it. What attracts you to a billboard? Where and when do you see them? We’ve talked about this (not billboards, but how we carry ourselves) in several past posts (Actions speak louder than words is one of them), but I never thought of it in this way. How am I advertising for Jesus? If I have an out of control mouth or can’t control my temper, how is that bringing people to Jesus? So I started researching for this post and I’ve discovered that I’m more messed up than I thought. Not only do I have a rogue mouth, but my temper is not in line with the life that I want to live for Jesus. So, you’ll have to forgive me as I am, once again, trying to talk some sense into myself and hope that you all can gain something along the way, as well.
She went on to tell me that the Bible says that the mouth is the hardest thing to control. I looked it up and in James 3:7-10 (MSG) it says this: “This is scary: you can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!”
It’s true! I’ve never taken how I talk and how I talk to people and/or AT people, so seriously! I don’t want to just talk a cheap game. I want to own my actions….ALL OF THEM! I want to make my God proud to call me his child. I want people to see me as the person I SAY I am in Jesus. I don’t want to be the one blocking anyone from a relationship with Jesus, based on my actions and/or mouth, quite the opposite!
I found another verse. There are several relating to the tongue and how we are to protect what we say and when: James 1:26-27 (MSG) “Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.”
So that got me to thinking about how other people see me. Do other people see me as just “talking a good game?” Because, surely, what is coming out of my mouth when I curse, is not godly. I don’t want to portray that. I don’t want to be that person with many “facets.” I want to just be me and I just want to be ALL IN with God. I know I have faults, and Lord knows, cursing is not the only one I have, but through prayer and Jesus, I want to SHINE for Him!
I notice that when I curse I’m either very angry or I’m around a group of people that are not consistent or not following, at all, a journey/their journey with Jesus. This is the very time I should especially be minding my P’s and Q’s. I have to say, it is only January 10, 2013 and I have learned some things about me and my walk with Jesus, already this year. It’s definitely a “growth” year for me. I am leaning in to EVERYTHING Jesus has for me this year.
I found a verse that speaks to cultivating good relationships, but I think it also speaks to how we, as believers, need to be on our guard at all times, looking within ourselves for what God is trying to teach us and shape us, and sometimes, or we could say, usually, that is in the form of another person, believer or non-believer. Sometimes we’re talking so much that we can’t HEAR God! Romans 14: 22-23 (MSG), this verse was actually out of a devotional that I started this year called “Soul Detox”.
Romans 14:22-23 (MSG) “Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.”
And the last sentence got me! You see, guys, we are never going to be perfect, right? We all know that. BUT, if we say, Well, I don’t do the really bad stuff. I just say a little curse word here and there when I’m mad, or I only curse.” Or “I’m holding a grudge with that person because she or he was a jerk to me, but I haven’t killed anyone.” Well then, it’s not in line with what the Bible teaches to be right, therefore it’s not in line with what we believe, as children of God. Does that make sense? I thought because I quit drinking and I’m married now and not “living together” or I go to church every Sunday, that it was ok to curse, because God doesn’t expect me to be perfect anyway and well, he’ll forgive me for that. But I’ve missed the mark–AGAIN! God does know that we will never be perfect because we’re human, but he DOES NOT expect us to do what we know is wrong OVER and OVER again. He expects us to eventually learn from our shortcomings and STOP doing it. And not only to stop doing it on our own, but to trust, pray and lean on Him to take the desire to do _____ (whatever that is for you. You fill in the blank) away.
It has NEVER been so crystal clear to me EVER, that I continue to disappoint God when I do this. It would be like you doing something to hurt your parents or your spouse, knowing they are going to find out and since they’re going to forgive you anyway, you just do it because it’s what YOU want to do, even though it hurts that other person to their core. I believe it hurts God to his core, when his children are out of control.
So let me close with this verse. It’s in Ephesians. The entire chapter 4 is basically a teaching on maturity: Ephesians 4:31-32 (MSG) “Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”
You know, it’s not easy to walk this journey and spill my shortcomings for everyone to see, but it is SO worth every word. Sometimes when I write these posts even I get so much out of what God is telling me. Sometimes I have to STOP talking in order to HEAR Him. Sometimes, I have to dig deep and go boldly to Jesus and ask for forgiveness. Unfortunately, more often than not, am I asking for forgiveness. This little life that I’ve had has been earthly for SO long, that it takes time to work some of that stuff out of my natural self, who I am at my core. Since starting my journey (5 yrs. ago), God has begun a work in me that is absolutely incredible, life changing, and bigger than anything I ever thought or dreamed, and I am doing my best to be a better person for His glory now.
I say all this to say, you don’t have to be perfect or afraid to come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and a relationship with Him. He’ll freely extend it to you and invite you into His family. You are his sons and daughters. He loves you deeply, endlessly, unchangingly. It says in the Bible that if you ask for forgiveness from Jesus that he will cast your sin as far as the east is from the west.
If you want to know more about starting your journey and begin your relationship with Jesus, you can go to:
Well, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my shortcomings to those of you who know me and to encourage those of you who haven’t yet begun your relationship to make that decision and take that step. You truly won’t regret it. It is LIFE CHANGING!
And that, my friends, is what it means to be the child of a King!
Be encouraged and be mindful of what you’re advertising.
What’s on your billboard?
Make 2013 your best year ever!