Saturday, May 21, 2011

Edit, Backspace, Delete

Today's passage:  James 3
     While I am deciding which book to study next, I will share a thought that occurred to me (as I was ironing clothes).  I was thinking how often I censor myself.  Not in the way TV networks need to do when someone curses and the show logo appears across their mouth, but when I'm about to say too much.  How many times on a social networking site I visit often have I started to post a comment and then decided maybe it was better left unsaid.  I am able to review what I've said before I post it.  Sometimes I erase the comment before I hit enter.  If I said everything I thought, I would probably have few friends left. Wouldn't it be nice if I could do that in real life?  How convenient it would be to have a playback in my head of how something sounds so I could erase it if I need to.
     "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?  let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom."  If I would always think before I speak or post, I would be perceived as wise.  Many times, I don't think before I speak.  Those words are forever out there.  I can't take them back, I can't backspace and delete.  Am I considerate before I leave a comment?  Not just in cyberspace, but face to face?  Do I guard my words?  They are so powerful!  The book of James talks about the tongue being like a fire.  Uncontrolled, it does irreparable damage.  James says the tongue is like the horse's bit and the ship's rudder.  It needs taming and steering.  Am I the captain of my tongue?  Do I steer it in the right direction?  Do I consider before I speak, or do I just assume that because it is truth, it needs to be said?  I've done that too many times before, and have regretted it.  I am nobody's Holy Spirit.  Just because my intentions are right, does not mean I should always say what I believe.  People can not hear my intentions, only my words.That is not saying that there isn't a time for truth. Sometimes I haven't said enough.  Sometimes I should have intervened.  It can be a very fine line.
Sailing the Mediterranean by Ship
Sailing the Mediterranean by Ship--Taken from Treasures of the Bible (The Early Church)
By Henry Davenport Northrop, D.D.
International Publishing Company, 1894
     I've been thinking about this because I often feel lonely.  I talk to people, but I don't feel as if I have many close friends.  I am close with my church family, but not in an I-can-reveal-my-heart to you way.  Have I alienated people with my words?  Do I seem self-righteous?  Perhaps one of the reasons I started this blog is because it allows me to be transparent in a way I don't feel I can be in real life.  I am somewhat reserved.  I like to be proper (maybe too much).  Do people feel I'm aloof?  I hope not.  Sometimes I have heard the comment that I am not genuine.  Am I fake?  I don't mean to be. I can see why people may think that way.  I try to be careful in everything I say and do because I don't want to bring any shame to my Savior in word or deed.  I try to be careful with my words because I don't want to give offense when it is not warranted.  I'm not talking about waffling or wavering in my opinions.  I'm certain in what I believe, and given the opportunity to proclaim my Savior, I will take it.  But there are plenty of matters that my opinion does not need to be revealed unless asked, and even then, carefully.  I am probably only unguarded with my husband and children, and I probably need to be the most guarded with them.  My words affect them so deeply.  Why do I feel like since they are my family I can say whatever I feel to them?  Why do I not apply the same principles to them that I do other people?  Wouldn't it be nice if I could delete every hurtful thing I've said to them?  Wouldn't it be marvelous if I could backspace before I made that critical comment? If I am the captain of my tongue, there would never be need for it.

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