Daily Devotion

The Necessary Pain of Biting Your Tongue
 
"A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control."  Proverbs 29:11 NIV
 
I  have learned that sometimes people have great intentions for the things they do and say to us.  And of course there are hurtful, vengeful, spiteful people out there that intend to hurt us in whatever ways they can.  But in growing in our walks with God, we, or I guess I better say I lol, learn that we must overlook many an insult or hurt.  I've learned early, thanks to a great mentor, that you have to get some thick skin and listen more because when your turn comes up, you don't want to be the fool.  Many times throughout the book of Proverbs Solomon speaks of having self-restraint and temperance in regards to our words.  Proverbs 19:11 NLT says "Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs."  Proverbs 14:29 GWT says "A person of great understanding is patient, but a short temper is the height of stupidity."  Proverbs 12:16 says "A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted." 
 
So you know I need this right now…I had to pray and pray and look for scriptures about this.  Today at work I was so angry.  I am a nice person, but I have always in the past kept to myself at work and shied away from making friends at work–primarily because I have the rule that work stays at work and it does not come home with me, including the people.  But anyway, today is a beautiful day, and I knew yesterday that it would be fairly warm today.  I decided last night to wear a dress and blazer to work.  Now I don't claim to be Donatello Versace, but I like how I dress.  Its fashionable to me, and of course I have self-respect so it seems appropriate for work.  I had a close acquaintance here to say something to me…and the entire time I was saying to myself, "I am at work, I am at work, God help me because I am at work."  Lord knows I held my tongue because the things she said seemed to question my very relationship with God!! 
 
I realized this was one of those tempting situations where the devil provokes us to act ugly and backslide…but thank God that I have been thanking God for making me into a different person.  Thank God it was not last year when this happened, or else.  To question my character, my faith, and my calling are just wrong.  The all famous scripture that came to mind was when Jesus spoke of the adulterous woman to the Pharisees in John 8:7 NASB–But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." This helped to remind me of how wrong this situation was. I was livid!  But thank God!  Because I learned and am still learning to bite my tongue and keep my reactions under control, I kept myself from getting too upset, and well at least from lashing back at her.  And according to these scriptures I did the right thing.  Now I did go to a few trusted friends not here and told them what happened, which helped me to get the anger out.  But I kept my composure and kept it together.
 
I have since seen the person and she asked me if I was okay, because she felt we had that type of relationship…WRONG!  If you feel the need to say something to someone, before you do it, please pray and ask God for the way to say it.  Namely because you don't know what type of mood that person may be in or how they will take what you say.  Words do hurt and injure a person.  It is scientifically proven that hurtful things said to a child do ultimately affect them as an adult.  Its like if you tell a child they are stupid over and over again…they grow up to believe that they are stupid.  When you submit to God everything–including the things you say, you learn that there are two ways to do everything: the wrong way and its actually a gazillion wrong ways…but also the God way.  He will order the words and how you need to deliver them.  Seek to be wise, because someone will always have something to say about what you are doing.  There will always be a dissenter or someone that does not like how you do things.  But by dying to self, and more importantly, consulting God before you react, you can be the wiser person that can overlook the wrongs that have been done to you.
 
"A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare."  Proverbs 15:1 NLT
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