Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flame of fire

Psalm 141:1-10
A psalm of David.
1 O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me.
Hear my voice when I call to you.
2 May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

3 Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips.

4 Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil,
to take part in wicked deeds
with men who are evildoers;
let me not eat of their delicacies.

5 Let a righteous man [a] strike me—it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head.
My head will not refuse it.
Yet my prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers;

6 their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs,
and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken.

7 They will say, "As one plows and breaks up the earth,
so our bones have been scattered at the mouth of the grave. [b] "

8 But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD;
in you I take refuge—do not give me over to death.

9 Keep me from the snares they have laid for me,
from the traps set by evildoers.

10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I pass by in safety.


Did you know that on average a person opens his or her mouth approx 700 times a day to speak. I personally might exceed that number some days. :)
David in the Psalms asks God to keep him from speaking evil. Amazingly enough even under persecution David asks for this to His Father. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ kept silent before his accusers in His last days on this earth. There is great power in the tongue and James even refers to it as a flame of fire. Our prayer needs to be to God, "Lord, please guard our words so we might bring honor to Your name." Remember, evil acts begin with evil desires.
Sometimes we can fall into the belief that it is enough to ask God to keep us away from temptation, make us stronger or change our circumstances, but more importantly it is good to ask for Him to change us on the inside at the level of our desire within our heart.
How do you take criticism? Do you get defensive? Do you come out swinging at any opposition in view point or difference, before even considering the words being given to you? Are you missing an opportunity to grow? Sometimes we can miss the opportunity and become more concerned with looking good than in growing in His wisdom from wise counsel or criticism from a brother or sister. I would rather have a criticism than false flattery as the scripture says. (paraphrased)
David says to be rebuked by a Godly person is a kindness. I, like you and most everyone else don't like criticism, but everyone can benefit from it when it is given wisely and taken in humbly.
David gives us words on how to take criticism.
1. Don't refuse it.
2. Consider it a kindness
3. Keep quiet, don't fight back.

Putting these into practice will help us control how we will react to criticism making it productive rather than destructive no matter how it was originally intended. Consider today how you might put these into action, maybe even one of the three so that you might become a little better in how you receive criticism and not miss an opportunity to grow.
Lord bless you today friends.

2 comments:

  1. I have learned (for the most part) to silently listen, consider the person I receive critcism from, and even through hurt feelings try and find the a kernel of truth. It is so easy to disregard criticism when it comes packaged in unwarranted and hurtful words, but even then there is some truth in it somewhere. Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. Gail McConnell: Once again, my tongue had to be put on the altar as a sacrfice to God because in my flesh dwells no good thing. When I think about how this relates to CR, it is likened to taking a blue chip for my wicked tongue. It is an act of surrender and admitting to God that I am poor in spirit and need His power to move in me and through me to overcome my tongue which has been rooted in a stronghold of unrighteousness. The Lord especially talks about a woman's tongue as a gossiper. Women in the flesh are very wicked gossipers. Instead of having the courage and love to talk about a situation in lve, women of the flesh gossip in order to foolishly feel good and somehow think that they win the game. What a deception and entrapment! The generational curse in my family of women was GOSSIP. Even now the women in my family gossip about the other women. Praise God I find that I sit in silence now and do not participate in the gossip. I can't. He Who lives in me (not just in my head but in my heart) will not allow my tongue to participate in such depravity. When I start to, I feel sick inside. I wait. At times the Holy Spirit moves me to speak life into a situation that is "inflamed with gossip". When I do, depending on the heart of the woman I am speaking with, there is a change that takes place in the conversation. The woman either silents herself and sulks with that look of "who do you think you are" or the woman begins to talk with life. As for me it matters not what the other woman does. I feel
    compassion for a woman who does not feel godly sorrow for her gossiping tongue; I no longer feel responsible for her or judge her. That is not my position. My position in Christ is to be a light for her no matter what the cost to my own person. Some women will criticize me. Some will reject me. Some will even gossip about me. It doesn't matter anymore. My loyalty is to One only, my Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. I pray that women begin to humble their tongues before Christ. I pray that women run to the altar (a blue chip is a great way to start!) and let God breath spirit life ito dead bones....into the tongue of His body. Wow! Imagine a tongue that praises, encourages, give thanks! The enemy has no entryway into such a tongue! He truly becomes a footstool beneath our feet!

    Love, Gail

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