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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Don't Say A Word

This morning I went to play basketball like most Saturday mornings. I am a pretty competitive basketball player, to say the least, and I love to work hard when out on the court. In the heat of one of the games, a call was made that I did not agree with. My flesh started crawling because I heard some players muffling under their breath comments that just did not need to be said. I really really wanted to let them have it, but in my heart I felt the Holy Spirit nudging, “Cory, restrain yourself. Love them! Do not be quick to speak back to them but LET IT GO.” It took all the strength within me to keep from saying something I knew I would regret later. I am grateful to admit, I listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and kept a nasty situation from developing. The Bible says, “Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry” (James 1:19 AMP).  Pride says I have to have the last word. I have been learning that most of the time I spout back words quickly in the heat of the moment, I say things that are damaging. The words that I say might even be true, but the way that they are communicated makes them wrong all together.

When I arrived home from basketball, I had another chance to display restraint or lash out. I was doing laundry at my parent’s house and I made a comment that I saw a certain type of detergent at the grocery store for $1.98. The person I was speaking with said, “You cannot buy this type of detergent for that price. I have been grocery shopping for years and trust me, it is not that price.” The way this was communicated to me rubbed me the wrong way and I had a choice to drop it or say something that would cause an argument. Once again, I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit to say nothing and walk way. A soft word turns away wrath and if I cannot come up with something good to say, then I need to just be quite and cool down. At the end of the day, are these trivial situations worth getting all worked up over? The Bible says, “But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with) trifling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels” (2 Timothy 2:23). A person led by God does not get involved with such foolish arguments because they are unprofitable. Many times in the past, I have said words that were damaging and it led to broken relationships, wounded people, and a big mess. God is growing me day by day on how to let things go and not be so quick to fight back. With that said, I still make mistakes and need God’s grace to forgive me when I do wrong. Just admit it when you blow it and ask God to forgive you. He is standing there with arms wide open to embrace you and help you become victorious in every area of your life. The next time you sense the urge to say something because you “feel right”, listen to what God would have you do or say in the situation. Maybe, He might not want you to say anything? Will you LET GO and be a strife eliminator? 

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