Hey What in the Cathair readers! A treat today! Wise words from a great friend, who kind of has a school named after her (NOT REALLY:) But she is a teacher, mom, and very much loves her Jesus. ENJOY my guest blogger:)
|My buddy Susan Moore in front of Susan Moore elementary:) (Named after some other Susan Moore:)|
Those word have come out of my mouth – and the mouths of many a-family member my whole life. You see, I come from a long line of teasers and pickers and kidders,
as does my husband. So it is understandable that our children “inherited” that trait. Well, not exactly “inherited “ in the genetic sense, but “learned” the behavior as my husband and I both did from our families, who probably learned it from their families….
In her study “Breaking Free”, Beth Moore calls behaviors that are passed from one generation to the next “Generational Sin”.
Ok, so teasing and picking are not exactly SINS, are they?
Not like drinking, carousing, adultery, stealing....
But a sin is anything that is in conflict with God’s word, God’s laws, God’s character, right? And He tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated. Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. And IF picking and teasing and joking with people causes them to be hurt, embarrassed, shamed or anything other than built up, it IS a sin, isn’t it?
Now don’t confuse this with having a good sense of humor – which is something we also got from our preceding generations. Having a good ol’, laugh till you cry, gut-busting guffaw - as long as it’s not at someone else’s expense – is actually very healthy!
This weekend, I had a brief phone conversation with one of my grown children. My call was to “pick” on him about something that I’ve been busting him about recently – all in jest. But this time, he didn’t take it very well. I kind of blew it off with “well you know I have to bust you about this…we always pick on each other.”
He then said, “No, you don’t have to bust me about THIS.”
Feeling bad about making him feel bad, I texted an apology – which led to a phone call from him a little later apologizing for his curtness to me earlier. Unbeknownst to me, my “picking” had involved something from someone very special to him, and it really wasn’t taken as fun or funny. I felt even worse about what I had said, but added that the “special someone”
would just “have to understand that’s the way we are and get used to it."
WHOA! Uh-wrong, Missy!
As soon as I hung up, I felt God in a powerful way. God’s words in James chapter 3 tells us about taming the tongue, about what a destroying fire it can set, how full of evil and deadly poison it is, how with the same tongue we praise God and curse man. And there it was – the first lesson in all this that God is trying to teach me.
I never INTEND to hurt anyone with my words, but it can easily cross the very thin line from innocent fun to judging, cutting, harsh words hiding behind the auspices of picking, teasing, joking.
And it can take on a life of its own that becomes gossip and rumor-mongering when the target of the teasing isn’t even present!
James’ words took on a much deeper meaning for me today. For me to “tame my tongue”
I need to think about what I say and the motives driving my “teasing” words –
are they meant for building up or tearing down?
For others, taming the tongue may be to stop and think before complaining, and for others it may be to tame a bossy, arrogant tongue. Whatever, the issue, we need to be “doer’s of the word, not just hearers,” or our faith is nothing.
Which leads to the deeper lesson God is teaching me through this....
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior many years ago. As Christians we are to die to self – that is, surrender to God’s will, God’s way. The old has passed away. So my words that “we always pick on each other,” and “she just needs to understand that’s the way we are and get used to it,” are contrary to that. Just because it’s the way I WAS, it should not be the way I AM! We are to become new -
“…and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:24
I want to be clothed in His righteousness and holiness.
God’s grace and mercy work gently and patiently in my life to help me learn and be drawn closer to Him. He is working in this area of my life right now. He led me to the book of James, a very familiar book to me, so that He could speak to me on these specific issues - and I am so thankful for that!
I don’t think He wants to change WHO I am,
I am living out my life as a new creation in Christ.