Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gracious Conversations

It has taken me forever to write today.  I've written, erased, started over, rinsed and repeated a few times. It's a big task to write something you want to publish in a format like this.  You want it to be useful, to minister to those who read it, to be genuine, to inspire, to inform, to educate...

I want what I write to come from God's inspiration and not just from the cavern of my own head. When the words don't flow from my heart to my fingertips quickly, I feel like it's because there is something different that needs said or that I need to wait for God to write it on my heart first.  Today is proof of that.  Everything that I've been mulling over and jotting down today, we discussed at my small group tonight.  Now I have even more to think about, so I saved what I wrote and will see if it leads me anywhere tomorrow.  I just don't want to put something out there that isn't ready because it isn't everything that it needs to be.

And as I began thinking about that and what a struggle writing was today, Colossians 4:6 came to mind.  Here it is in context:

Colossians 4:2-6
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

It puts into words the way I feel about my writing.  I pray that God uses this as a door for me to share His message, and I want to be sure that I do it clearly, effectively and with grace--making the most of every opportunity.  Ironically, I don't need to write it if it's not full of grace, since that's what this 31 day series is about.  :)  

Thinking more on this, though, it's convicting me.  If I'm this careful about what I'm writing because someone might read it and be compelled to draw closer to the Lord, why am I not as careful every other time that I open my mouth?  If my writing might turn people off, won't my speech do the same?  Of course it will, but it's far easier to control what gets published to the internet versus taming my literal tongue.

James 1:26
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

It's a pretty sobering thought.  If you're a little to slow to listen and quick to speak, as I often am, I encourage you to read the book of James.  It speaks to my life every time I read it, and I'm guessing it will challenge you, too.  I'm thinking it's time for me to re-read it, as well.  I want my real-life, in-person conversations to be as gracious and as seasoned with God's truth and love as I hope my writing here is.  Very thankful for God's grace for my shortcomings!  Big thoughts to end the night on!

James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

God, help us to tame our tongues so that our words will be gracious and effective for your Kingdom!  


As part of a 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be posting every day in October.  The link on the left will get you to the home page for this series, where you can find all the posts written so far. Don't forget you can Subscribe to get posts sent to you by email. (There is a simple form towards the top on the right where you can do this.)  Thanks for reading!

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