So often we see the big picture and we hardly ever see the small moments leading up to that big picture. I’ve written before about counting the costs and knowing that every big moment has been preceded by a lot of small moments.
But taking that a little bit further we need to understand that not only are our daily disciplines small & significant, but so are our words.
So often we look at the disappointments and offenses in our life, I am beginning to think these big moments of pain and hurt always begin with small moments of pain and hurt.
Small offenses lead to big offenses.
Small disappointments lead to those big disappointments that can critically hurt our resolve and our attempts to being obedient to God and the person He created us to be.
Every day I struggle to get myself to the computer to write 500 words. That’s my limit, 500 words every single day. I can get this done in a matter of 30 minutes or less, but it takes more time for me to work up the motivation to do this. I often wonder what it is that is holding me back?
Sometimes it is a lack of having anything to share, and sometimes it’s just exhaustion or fear.
I have noticed I do not write often when I am feeling the pressures of this world caving in. Sometimes I just don’t have the words to say that I feel will be encouraging to those around me.
Over the years I have learned to choose my words wisely. For as long as I can remember my words have often gotten me into trouble, from the time I was really small until even now.
In scripture it says that we will be accountable for every idle word we speak. (Matthew 12:36)
For me writers block only comes when I am truly struggling with finding the words to say because every word counts. (Even now I was typing that scripture reference and forgot the TWO! Even one number matters, especially when you are talking about scripture references!)
Like I said, I have made many mistakes with my words. I have an opinion about a lot of things, and I think I am right in my thinking, but as soon as I take that thought and speak in a way that is idle then I have placed a target on myself!Our words and daily disciplines might be small, but they are also significant.
So often we struggle with our purpose, and we tend to focus on the wrong things therefore avoiding what is right in front of us. We desire big things but we aren’t willing to do the small things in order to get there.
Some days we need to simply take it all one day, and even one word, at a time.Every relationship is built on the words that we say, and the actions that we take.
We all know how defeating negative, critical, and judgmental words can be. In the book of Job he talks about how his friends should be an encouragement during his time of distress but instead they were judging and criticizing him.
If you read the end of the Book of Job you will find that his friends actually needed to ask him for his forgiveness by providing an offering to Job. Of course Job forgives them, but we need to truly take to heart the lessons Job’s friends teach us, and that is the effect a judgemental and critical word can have on someone.
On the opposite end of the spectrum we also need to realize the effect an encouraging word can have on someone. It’s not always easy to offer those words to someone who may have hurt you in the past, or who is not on your close friend list.
Maybe it’s easy for you to see the flaws in other people, and it’s harder to see the good.
Or maybe you see the good in people but you don’t point it out because you are so overwhelmingly appalled at their flaws.
Either way, our inability to speak life and encouragement into someone’s life is truly a matter of our own pride and is a bigger reflection on the state of our own heart than it is a reflection of their character.
We refuse to give life to this relationship because we know it will take something from us to give it, and we are afraid they will not return the love to us!
The battle is real. There is always an enemy we are fighting against that wants to steal, kill, and destroy. Sometimes we are his best weapons by our words, actions, and pride. Till this day I can’t find anything in the Bible that truly justifies me holding onto an offense, or for me to speak words of judgement and criticism over someone else’s life.
But its hard not to.
It’s hard not to be the person that holds someone else accountable, or to protect myself from the threat of their disobedience, lack of integrity, or simply from their flaws!
I have three children whom I discipline. Even then, I have to ask myself the question, do I want them to obey me because I make them obey me, or do I want them to obey me because they choose to obey me.
My heart for my children is that they will succeed and finish this race called life with their eyes fixed on Jesus.
I know that if that is going to happen then they will need to have endurance, and harsh words will only deplete them of that endurance. Not only that, but now I will be a source of scorn and discouragement in their life.
We need to determine the words that we want to say and the small & significant things we want to do with our life.
Today I was thinking about all the BIG things I would like to do, and honestly how can I do those big things if I can’t control the small words that come out of my mouth, or the small disciplines that I know I have been called to do every day?
In Proverbs 27:21-22 it says that praise is to the heart like the refiners fire is to gold and silver, and that you can beat a fool down but you will not succeed at separating them from their foolishness.
This is just in the book of proverbs. Just two verses! But I think it has so much meaning and can truly change our hearts on how we interact with those around us.
Just because we can see someone else’s foolishness and we point it out doesn’t mean it’s going to truly make a difference in someone’s life.
But when we speak a word of praise that will reveal the heart and tests it’s purity.
However, you have to be able to find something to praise.
Nobody is immune to foolishness, at least I know I am not immune! How arrogant it would be of me to say I have not acted like a fool a time, or two, in my life.But even in my imperfections, when someone finds something to praise, my heart is tested and purified.
If a word of praise can test the purity of someone’s heart then I am guessing words might be small & significant. This scripture in proverbs encourages me to offer praise, and to simply stay away from the useless act of telling a fool how foolish they are.
I guess the hardest part of this is putting it into practice instead of foolishly ignoring this small piece of wisdom.