In this quest to become more graceful (as in "full of grace", not as in "not clumsy"--that's a whole other battle), I have become more and more aware of my words. Ann Voskamp writes about thanksgiving and how all of our sin stems from the original sin of ingratitude. Beth Moore writes about realizing that Christ crucified and raised is enough. And I copy these nuggets of wisdom down and tweet them and retweet them and add them to my notebooks and journals and try to hide them in my heart with the promises of God. I even invite others to join me in my endeavor to be more grateful and choose gratitude and joy and respond in grace through this platform and my Twitter account and my Facebook page... but when I get in a situation where I need to respond in grace, it is still not easy. Now, I'm not dense enough to think it would be easy. I'm not surprised. I just feel like the daily (hourly? minute-ly?) struggle should be acknowledged. There is no "quick fix". Honestly, I'm kind of glad it's a process. It affirms my constant need for Jesus and His grace when I have none of my own to offer.
Proverbs 15:28 says: "The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked
gushes evil." (NIV)
Yep. Gushes. How many times has it seemed like I could not stop my words? I could've, but it was easier for me to just let the evil gush out of my mouth. Wondering why? In the book of Matthew, Jesus is talking to the Pharisees (the religious ones...the ones who had all the answers...the smart guys...the "holy" ones...the rule followers...me?) and He says: "You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the
abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." [Matt. 12:34, ESV] I'm the same as the Pharisees. How can I expect good to flow out of my mouth when my heart is filled with judgment and anger and unforgiveness? THAT is why it's so easy for evil to gush out when the opportunity presents itself.
So. How do I fix it? The truth is... I don't. The good news is...Jesus can. And He does. If I ask Him to. Isn't He so good? Too good for me, for sure! But I am so glad it's in His character to love me in spite of my gushing evil mouth and disgusting heart. And PRAISE THE LORD that He has covered all of me--mouth and heart included--with His blood, so when the Father sees me, He sees the perfection of His Son and not my broken sinfulness. Amen? Isn't it true then? Christ. Crucified and raised IS enough. It's more than enough. It's everything. That should put everything else in perspective for us. We have no right to be ungrateful. Christ DIED for us. Anything else we get is just because He loves us and delights in us and sings over us. How dare we ask for more. We are so arrogant sometimes to think we know best when we know nothing. And, truthfully, it doesn't matter if we know anything at all so long as we know Him.
Praise God He wants to know us.