Monday, July 16, 2007

Put away...Put on...

Had another "wretched man that I am" moment.

Been thinking (convicted) about this lately: How our family talks to each other.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. [Colossians 3:8, 12-14].
Yeah, perfect harmony that describes our family, not!

I think most Christians would agree, we all struggle with our speech. Who doesn't relate to the apostle Paul's anguish which he describes so eloquently in Romans 7?
For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out...

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. [Romans 7:18, 21-23].
The tension is evident, we know what we ought to say and do, but we also find our flesh waging war against those oughts.

My desire is to have more patience and speaking kindly to my kids, but what I find is how easy that desire is thrown to the way side in the daily circumstances of our family life.

I'm guessing this has become more evident to me now that my kids are on summer break. It has magnified to me just how awful our speech can be to one another. And the sad thing is, I'm the biggest culprit.

How can I ask my 13 year old to speak with compassion when I don't? How can I expect my 8 year old to have good manners when mine are sorely lacking? How can I expect my 15 year old to be kind when I'm not very nice to her. It is very hard to admit these things, but I'm sure I am not alone.

It all starts with me. Lord, by your Spirit please create in me a heart of kindness, patience and please, put a guard on my mouth so I only speak that which is pleasing in your sight.