God taught me several things this week. Most paramount is the necessity that I, and that we all, stay on guard and also receive God’s grace.
I read a book last year — "The Forty Day Word Fast." It emphasizes fasting from negativity, complaining, judging, gossip, sarcasm, and criticism. I did this and I’ve virtually eliminated all relationships that were based on this from my life. So much so, that in fact I didn’t realize that I was slipping into judging others because they do these things. Well, God spoke to me yesterday in my prayer time to do a particular thing — not talk about work to anyone — and I failed literally a few hours later. I didn’t realize how it happened so quickly. I thought I was allowing someone to vent to me, and I tried to stay as generic as possible, but in the end I found myself complaining with this person as well. It hit me a short time later when the possible consequences were revealed. I was expecting a particular person to do it so I let my guard down. I repented and cried out to God about it. While I receive God’s grace, I acknowledge any conversation like this, especially if overheard by others, can have lasting, damaging effects. Now, I know I must stay on guard in this area and that it’s time to read that book again and do the subsequent challenge. I am also reminded of the necessity of giving myself and others grace when they fall short in different areas.