I’ve done it again, the thing I swore I would “never do again”, I ran my mouth off and said things I wish I could take back. Why do I keep doing this? I have this picture of the kind of woman I want to be: one who doesn’t gossip or tear people down, one who builds up the people around her and encourages everyone she encounters.
So why is that SO HARD?
Romans 7:15-25 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate…. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh ; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
I swear, this should be my life passage! I want to be that Proverbs 31 woman who is a wonderful wife, mother and friend, but most days I am so far from that it isn’t even funny. I hate what I am and I do what I hate but I don’t know how to break that cycle. How do I follow God in those moments when my tongue automatically starts to follow it’s old master?
So if I am no longer a slave to sin why do I keep following it? I am so sick of the depressing cycle: run off my mouth, feel horrible and apologize, then do it all over again. I make resolutions that “this is it, no more of this slander/gossip/idle talk!” But again I just fail and feel the shame of that failure.
To refuse to make ‘resolutions’ and ‘vows’ for that is to trust in the flesh – Miles Stanford
My mom had this quote on the fridge for most of my childhood and I read it over and over but never really understood what it meant until I went to Bible School and studied his book myself. (The Complete Green Letters) We tend to think that resolutions and vows are a really great thing to make, like “Don’t worry God, I swear, I am done with this sin, I’ll make you proud” It sounds pretty silly when you say it like that.
So I know that in myself I can’t change it, my sinful nature (even redeemed) is incapable of taming my tongue by itself. But how do I choose to listen to the Holy Spirit before those harmful words seep out? In those moments of intense emotion how do I listen to the still, small voice over the roar of my own stupid words?
I want people to look at me and see Jesus. I want my words and actions to point people towards his saving grace but that won’t happen if my tongue keeps getting in the way.
I don’t have answers to wrap this up all neatly with, this is a huge learning process for me, maybe the biggest one of my life since it affects almost everything. For now I just keep praying and asking forgiveness and trusting that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion. (Philippians 1:6)