Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Watch your Mouth, Jill

For those of you that know me well, you probably know that I have a bit of an attitude. I say things that come to mind without sending them through the social filter first. My love language is sarcasm, which combined with blurting out anything that comes to mind, makes for a pretty dangerous weapon. I also like to do things my way, and if you don't cooperate, watch it! I'll be coming after you. (in a non scary sort of way.) I blame all of this on my red hair. (hence the name of the blog: Fierce and Fiesty- The Real Life of a Red Head)

I've gotten myself in trouble many times because of my speaking the truth in love.....well, speaking the truth. (My definition of speaking the truth includes bluntness, and giving waaaaay too much information) I've been challenged this past year to really figure out how to use my "gift" of speaking the blunt and honest truth to honor God. This is no easy feat and I still to this day will not claim that I have it anywhere even close to perfected. Taming this tongue of mine isn't something that I want to do, and I don't think that it's something that I necessarily need to do. I look at it more as my tongue just needs to be redirected and trained. (tongue exercises anyone? my husband sure would like that one! oops, once again, I didn't run that through the social filter! ha!)

The Bible is very clear about how words can affect, divide, destroy, or build up. James 1:26 says, "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." YIKES. I'm in trouble.

That verse has meant more to me in the past few months than ever before. As most of you know, a few months ago, I accepted 2 positions through my church. The first position is Director of Shepherd's Closet. This is a low cost clothing ministry serving the immediate needs of our community. The second position is Birth through Kindergarten Children's Ministry Coordinator. I love both positions and since starting them, I have been challenged and stretched in ways that I would have never thought humanly possible.

Because I am in church leadership now, I have had to be extremely conscious about my tongue. (I should always be careful about what I say, but this holds me to a higher standard) I have had to think about what I say, and how I say it. I am ministering to the people of our community and loving them the way Christ loves them- and trying to do this in a way that involves speaking the truth, but doing so in love. It's that darn "in love" part that is so frustrating to me.

Although I don't claim to be perfect in this department, I have figured a few things out!

1. Speaking the truth (in love) brings freedom. Being brutally honest, people know where you stand. They know how you feel, and they know what you think. There is no question about your "realness."

2. Speaking the truth (in love) brings a deepness and richness to conversations that would otherwise be missing.

3. Speaking the truth (in love) brings people to a closer relationship with Christ. The lost want to know a God who is real. They don't want the world of butterflies and rainbows. They want the nitty gritty. Scratch that, maybe they do want those things, but that's not what being a follower of Christ is about. There is no sugar coating Christ's death on the cross. There is no sugar coating the consequences of sin and a life without God. There is no denying the fact that God does some pretty amazing stuff. Without being honest and direct about all things Christ/God/Holy Spirit/Salvation, the truth gets mixed in with the fluff.

4. Being real with people (telling them the truth, being blunt, being dead honest and open) brings vulnerability. I am a "ask and you shall receive" type of person. You ask for a piece of information about my life, and you get the whole story. I give more info that anyone could ever want, but I do it in hopes that something I say will challenge make a difference in someone's life. Like my realness will show people the true meaning of Christ's Sacrifice, the true meaning of the fullness of God's love, and the true meaning of redemption, forgiveness, and grace.

Maybe I think too highly of myself, or maybe my bluntness is a source of pride for me. Maybe this post made absolutely no sense at all. I'm not sure. All I know is that I work daily at getting this tongue thing right. I strive to have a faith like no other, and I life that is pleasing to God. I want my tongue to be another avenue for those things to shine through.


The Cox Family said...

Girl! Can I relate! I am the same way! I say things and then ... oops! Ha! Everyone knows if you talk to me I'm going to tell it how it is for the most part! I totally know what you mean about taming this darn thing! It's something I am working on too!

Anonymous said...

I love this! I swear you stole #3 right out of my head!

(PS-I'm a friend of Laura France. She encouraged me to read your blog, and I'm already loving it!)

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