Target Point, Vol. 14 of 31
Today's Verse/Thought: Sticks and Stones
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. James 3:6
It has been said that the tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it. Scripture calls the TONGUE a small member, but it CAN DO HUGE DAMAGE. We must remember that words are the window to the heart. If our heart is full of anger, our words will show it. One of the biggest lies in our culture is that old saying, "Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me."
SARCASM is often a socially acceptable form of humor. It's humor is often found in its irony. However, often a sarcastic attitude is a window to a heart full of anger. Recently the wife of someone in a ministry position began to notice her husband becoming more and more sarcastic. Finally, she asked him, Who are you angry with? Her question was direct and right on target. In discussion, this individual came to realize that he was actually angry with God. Remember, as I have mentioned before, God is not intimidated by your anger.
Then we have people who are critics-at-large. Being a critic in an acceptable way is having the ability to discern and separate the good from the bad, the wise from the unwise, the best from the worst. But a person who has a CRITICAL SPIRIT or attitude, is one who indulges in faultfinding and censure. This is where that mini-member, the tongue, can literally cause hell on earth.
Resolve today, with the Lord's help, to never exercise the deadly art of criticism. Be willing, INSTEAD OF ATTACKING the other person, to say, I'm sorry, I made a mistake, I was wrong. Ask God to help you gently communicate any frustration you have with loving kindness by a response that will not be offensive, saying instead, I'm upset . . ., That bothers me because . . . Remember that CRITICISM WILL NEVER CAUSE ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR TO MODIFY.
You've heard of the recommendation to "count to 10" before saying anything when you are upset. Sounds so simple. But it can be very effective. Counting to 10 gives you a moment to cool down, and it helps you begin to put the situation into perspective and bridle your tongue.
Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
A Healthy Catalyst