Flylady’s Post on the Most Precious Gift to Give and Receive

Well, I was going to write about something else this morning, but God had other ideas. He’s quite clear about what He wants me to be focusing on today. I do appreciate clarity!

This whole week, I’ve been challenged to keep keep my tongue under control. I will give credit where credit is due and thank Miss PMS for adding to my challenge. But, I take full responsibility for what comes out of my mouth. It has been a HARD week for me to keep my tone of voice modulated and I haven’t entirely succeeded, as much as I have been trying.

Last night, in our daily Bible reading, Tim read the entire book of James aloud. Here are some little tidbits from good old James:

If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren). (James 1:26)

AND

For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature. If we set bits in the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we can turn their whole bodies about. Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines.

Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze! And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna).

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea animal, can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (nature). But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness! Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so. Does a fountain send forth [simultaneously] from the same opening fresh water and bitter? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can a salt spring furnish fresh water. (James 3:2-12)

Now, that was convicting enough for me. But just to make sure that I knew what He was pointing out to me, God used Flylady’s post, “The Most Precious Gift to Give and Receive,” to drive the concept home. When I read that post this morning, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I actually got very hot and started perspiring on this chilly winter morning. Why? Well, I read this:

Why do we torture our family with hurtful words? I can tell you why! You are so stressed out and feeling like a martyr!

This is exactly what I was poised to be today. This morning is our Weekly Home Blessing Hour, which seems to have become more difficult to build enthusiasm for lately. Also, because I have been out of the house for the past two days, our Hot Spots need attention. I was dreading these two tasks this morning and slipping right into martyr mode, which I hadn’t yet admitted that I’d been wallowing in more and more lately.

Then Flylady gives me this:

It is up to you to change your attitude toward your family! Once you change your martyred outlook to one of blessing your family and giving teaching moments, you will see a change in them. I know that you don’t believe me, but you can only change yourself. It is by your example that your family will begin to help and support your efforts to secure a peaceful home.

And this:

What does your wicked tongue do to your children, your husband and most of all you? It doesn’t tell them you love them. It makes them feel less than; it hurts their self-worth. They feel that they have no say in things…. They feel like servants, instead of family members. Those harsh words are worse than a whipping. You cut your family out of the conversational loop. The family can’t even say what is on their mind because they are afraid of you. Home life is based on the fear of not making mother mad. Your family members hide from you. They become afraid to tell you when something happens.

Okay, well, that cut to the heart. This is the very atmosphere that I want to avoid. It has always been my desire to build a family that can communicate freely and support one another. I work hard to accomplish that, so undermining my own efforts is ridiculous.

But, Flylady never leaves me hanging. She always offers a workable solution to whatever issues she has painfully pointed out in my life. For example:

I would like to suggest that you start writing your feelings down too. Not just the pain you are feeling but how you can change. First you have to forgive yourself. You are just learning these things; the more you write the more you will discover about yourself. You are not expected to be perfect. Love yourself enough to take these words and go forward from here.

(I have found this to be so true with my blogging. Even if no one else ever reads this blog, it is helpful to me to write things down as I learn them. It really reinforces the concepts that I am applying to my life.)

Your tongue can criticize or it can encourage. The choice is all yours. If you have not changed your attitude, then how can you expect to see a change in them! It has to come from the heart. If not they will see right through you.

(How can I expect to see a change in them? How can I expect to see a change in them? What is THE biggest issue that we deal with on a daily basis? Do I even have to type it out? Of course, it is the way the kids speak to each other. They are my mirrors, which is the most humbling aspect of parenting.)

Sprinkle your words of love, encouragement and teaching, all over your home. Apologize for your tongue. Don’t play the martyr game anymore. No one loves a martyr. Not even you!

It’s time to FLY without the Guilt; forgive yourself!

Hmm…God definitely agrees with Flylady:

Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. (James 5:16)

Pardon me while I go ditch the martyr attitude, apologize to my children for my tongue, pray with them for healing and restoration, AND experience the tremendous power I have available to make this change.

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