A Fire To Put Out

Hello, my name is Tammy and I like to talk.  Yes, I feel like I need a support group sometimes.  My mind will be going a mile a minute and my mouth does not want to be left behind.  I feel deeply and feel the need, many times, to express that verbally.

This is not necessarily a problem when I am sharing praise, happiness, good news or encouragement.  Ah, but then comes the oh too easy opposite path.  Satan has my number but I want to change it and not to 867-5309.  Feeling deeply has many positives but it also magnifies the negative feelings such as anger and resentment.  Most of my early life was spent bury those feelings as they did not feel good.  Plus, because I was known to be so happy and kind, I did not want to disappoint anyone with feeling anything but happy.  Burying did not get rid of them but set me up to explode over small things and hurt those I loved.

In James, chapter 3, I was reminded of a powerful truth.  “The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.  Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”  James continues to talk about how the tongue can corrupt a person and how, with the same tongue, we both praise and curse.  When I first read this I was very uncomfortable.  The Holy Spirit was holding up that mirror for me to see myself.  I did not like what I saw.

My children have asked me what they should do when they get angry or feel the urge to say mean things.  While I was very nervous that I would not give them the “right” answer I spoke honestly with them.  I told them the dangers of just burying those feelings.  We talked about needing to express them and give them over to someone else that we trust to help us.  Obviously I told them they could always talk to me or their Daddy or another adult that they trust and who loves them.  But I admitted to them that I struggle with this as well.  So we reminded each other that we can always talk to God about those feelings.  We need not be ashamed or embarrassed or feel guilty to feel.  Being human it is a privilege to feel.  But it is how we act on those feelings that will show our true hearts.

I recently read a devotional where a woman, talking with her sister on the phone, easily slipped into gossiping and felt very convicted after she got off the phone.  She called her sister back, confessed, and asked for forgiveness.  The sister admitted she had felt the same way.  She offered up a tool to help both of them.  Remember when we were little we were taught to “stop, drop, and roll” when our clothes caught on fire?  Practice “stop, breathe, and pray” when your tongue starts to heat up.

For me I know that Satan knows my weak points and will exploit them.  It is my deepest desire to remain in Jesus continually so that I can strengthen those weak points and cause Satan to stumble, not me.  Through prayer, hope, and acknowledgment of my continuous need for grace and mercy I am fighting the good fight and winning one day at a time.


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