As he scanned the workbook filled shelves his eyes caught the title of a Beth Moore book that made him laugh out loud. He said, "When Godly People Do Ungodly Things - now that will preach!". Before I could stop myself I replied, "In any church!". His response was, "You got that right!".
We looked at each other and both kind of chuckled and smiled. He began to tell me about his rough day. One of his church members was cross with him over an email he sent out to his regular church mailing list. In it he was challenging each person to examine their lives and to surrender to a life of holy living. But somehow she took offense.
It wasn't long before she picked up the phone and began burning up the lines making calls. Later that day, the Pastor heard through the grapevine how she had been offended. He called her and tried to explain it wasn't directed to her individually. But no matter how hard he tried, his words seemed to be landing with a thud.
Now he was dealing with a family upset and threatening to leave the church as well as half-truths and un-truths that were spread among the fellowship. What was meant to build up encourage the body was instead being used to tear it apart.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20Several years ago when teaching this passage God gave me this phrase, "We need to take it to the throne, before we ever take it to the phone". As I began to put this into practice, I found myself talking less and less on the phone. I no longer needed to run it by someone to ask if I was reading the situation right, if I heard them right, if I was doing the right thing.
for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say. Luke 12:12Father, may I continue to learn from You. Teach me to be quick to listen and to let my words be few. Open my mouth when it is appropriate for me to speak and silence my tongue when it is not. Keep my anger in check at the urging of your sweet Spirit. Lord, continue to chisel away at my flesh as I desire to live a life of righteousness. For I know that a life of holiness is what you require of me and is your desire for me. In the name of Jesus my Savior I pray ~ Amen.