"He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." (V3)
This verse speaks to me a lot. Are the words I am speaking pointing people to God? Are my actions a display of my heart that is living for God? What is in your heart will eventually come out. This also brings me to yesterday's blog on marriage. In marriage and outside of marriage we are faced with moments when we say things we don't mean because of our emotions. Sometimes we say things in a tone that we shouldn't have. What if I told you everything you say and do can have an affect on your character? It can! I am trying to teach myself to pause for a moment before I speak, especially when it's a heated discussion or argument. We need to take back control of our lips and seek God's wisdom for the right things to say or not to say.
Philippians 4:8 says the following:
Verse 5 and 6 are talking about guarding yourself, don't dabble your toes in sin 'just to try it' or because 'it's easier' than doing the right thing. We should despise sin, not 'okaying' it.
I love what verse 9 says,
"The light of the righteous shines brightly but the lamp of the wicked is snuffed out." Don't be afraid to let your shine, even when it's easier to stay silent and keep your light dim. Be bold. Light is used to uncover darkness. Sometimes the light shines and reveals the ugly things, the sin that was hidden, the ungodly... Don't back down, it's our job to shine bright in beautiful representation of God. Shine bright and never stop. You never know who is in the darkness just waiting for that light, that way out.
Verse 16 reminds us of verse 3 where it talks about being wise with our words. Take time to pray, seek God and LISTEN... in whatever decision you make.
"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." (V20)
Family and friends have a place in our life to shape our character. The good, the bad and the ugly. The same way experiences we go through in life shape our character. Hardships can turn us bitter against God, lazy in our walk. When a hardship comes your way, how do you handle it? It gives us the opportunity for it to make us a better person or to just give up.
In 2012, I lost someone very special. My Mother in law passed away, she had been battling breast cancer. I only had two years getting to know her but we had built a beautiful friendship that i cherished more than she will ever know. Her advice meant more to me than anything. Her heart was pure and she was step by step following God, relying fully on him. It was visible. We had a lot of big, deep talks and I will always remember them. I will always remember those last few months I got to spend with her, living in her home with her everyday. I watched her struggles, her triumphs. She was a warrior. The pain I had after her death was indescribable... the complete and utter sorrow and anger I had that she would never see me walk down the aisle to the love of my life, her precious son on my wedding day... the wedding we had talked about like it was a dream, she was excited. I am sitting here, in tears as I think back to it...
She always got so excited talking to me about my future plans, so warm and loving. But memories did not stop the hurt, memories do not stop the unstoppable ACHE that still pops up. I watched the family I loved so well... be in such pain. The strong, fearless guy I was dating
(mr hubby) now be without his Mother, that was so painful.
I made a very conscious decision to grab hold of Jesus... He took me and hugged me, like Mrs M would. He held me close until the first storm had passed and I had gained enough trust to walk again. He became my refuge. Pete and I prayed and prayed, cried and were confused... never once did we abandon God. Big life changing moments were happening and she was no longer there to see them. I remember the night we got engaged... such a beautiful night, we had been praying about possible marriage for a long time and were fully reliant on God to provide an overwhelming urge when it was time for Peter to propose... God was definitely there that night, smiling and loving us! :) (GOOSEBUMP) but I remember when we got back to the car from the beach, I just paused and looked at Pete and began to cry. All we wanted to do was share our exciting next step with her, we couldn't.
But we chose to lean on God for our strength, we allowed God to break us again and again until we trusted him fully.
I hadn't planned on talking about all of this today, sorry it's so personal. These verses just triggered it and I felt I needed to write this.
We have the ability to choose who we spend our time with, how we handle situations. Will you let God use you?
Be wise in who you spend your time with, because who you associate with will add or take away from your character. Be wise in what you do with your heart and life when something bad happens. Be around people who build your character and choose to let God guide your through your hardships.