Daily Devotional – 12/5/17 “Let them vent!”

There are times when, on social media, I see people post statuses out of anger and frustration. Sometimes, this anger and/or frustration is geared toward God because they are in a season of suffering, they cannot understand or they may be fighting some demons we cannot see. Most times, this may be surprising to you, I don’t comment. Why? Because you have to let folk vent and go through. And I don’t know if you know this or not but when a person is angry and upset, they do not receive what you’re trying to say anyway and consistently bombarding them will only drive them away. Just bypass the status and hush. Now, this doesn’t apply to suicidal rants; that is an entirely different situation that needs to be addressed, immediately. What I mean is, when a person is angry, irritated, at their wit’s end, tired and etc. they tend to not hear anything positive you’ve tried to share. Think about when you are angry, you don’t want to hear anything from anybody, let alone a scripture.

Please don’t misunderstand me. There are times when you can absolutely share the word of God, post a scripture in the comments and offer words of encouragement. However, when there is a person venting who is on the verge of getting evicted, car wouldn’t start this morning, child sick, baby daddy/momma acting foolish, job talking about downsizing and health insurance is about to be canceled; the last thing they will hear and accept is ‘God is good.’ All they see now is the disaster of their storm and no way out. This is why you have to know when it’s time to share and when it’s time to leave them alone. And this time, it may be the latter because the bible tells us in Proverbs 10:19, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” You cannot fix every situation, even when you want too. You cannot talk everybody down from the ledge even if you feel it’s your calling. Beloved, this may be a situation you need to leave alone until they’ve had time to calm down. In the meantime, pray for their peace of mind, pray for their eyes to see and their ears to hear clearly. Pray for them but please, do not argue with them over what they should know or how they should handle it. The bible shares in Proverbs 17:27, “He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.” Know when to help and when to hush because this may be the time for you to let them vent.

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Daily Devotional – 12//6/11 “It’s all in what you say”

In the bible, Matthew 12:37 say, For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.”  No matter how you read this verse, it’s powerful.  Let me tell you why.  When you speak on things, you can have the best intentions but depending on who you say it too, it can be taken the wrong way.  Also, depending on who you are talking too, they can spend it the wrong way but it’s all in what you say.  Now days, we’ve come to depend on technology to send our thoughts instead of talking face to face.  Sometimes you can send a text message one way but the person on the receiving end can interpret it a totally different way, and then the hell starts because they can’t hear the tone in the way you meant it to be, only the way they received it.  I’m sure I’ve shared this before but it won’t hurt to say it again, it’s all in what you say.  You can be the greatest husband, do any and everything for your wife but if you never tell her you love her, she might not know it.  You can be the most loving wife and your husband’s backbone but if you never tell him that you believe in him, how will he ever know?  Yea, I know that most people say you have to show love, but sometimes it’s all in what you say.  If you come home to find your spouse upset over something that happened at work or in their family, a small gift might not suffice, but if you tell them whatever they are going through won’t last long and offer a hug, it just might make them feel better.  It’s all in what you say. 

Now, the verse above says your mouth can acquit you and condemn you and if this doesn’t make you watch what you say, I don’t know what will. Proverbs 18:21 say “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”  If you’re in court and you take the stand to testify on your own behalf, I’m sure your attorney has coached you on what to say because a slip of the tongue can mean jail time or freedom.  It’s all in what you say.  Your girlfriend is out at the movies and she happens to see your man at the same theater but the girl on his arm isn’t you.  She contemplates telling you but then she remembers all the times you saying, “I don’t care what he does,” so she doesn’t.  It isn’t her fault when you find out months later because it’s all in what you say.  You’ve allowed your daughter to go out and she realizes that her friends aren’t going to the same party she told you about so she starts to call you, but then she remembers you saying, “I don’t care where you go but you’d better be home by 1,” so she doesn’t call.  Now, you find out because something terrible has happened, but who is to blame?  It’s all in what you say. 

When you are constantly saying, “I’m broke,” you will be.  Try saying, I’m temporarily out of funds or my funds are a little low this week.  Because I’ve found that with the Lord, I am never without.  Yea, my bank account may be without money, but I’m not hungry, my lights aren’t off, I’ve got enough gas in the car to make it until pay-day and I’m alive.  When you consistently say, “I’m sick,” you will be. Try saying something like, I’m not feeling well but I’m here, so I won’t complain.  The tongue is small but so powerful.  It’s one thing that can make a person love you and hate you.  It has also been the cause of many deaths among folk because they talk when they should be quiet.  James 3:5 says “In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.”  Isn’t that something? Think about it; a small match can cause a huge fire the same way your small tongue can cause a huge argument.  You know you can never keep a secret so why lie like you can when you know your mouth runs like water.  “Girl, I won’t tell a soul,” is what you say when you know your intentions isn’t to tell one but many to begin with.  “You can trust me,” is another lie that most folk tell when they know they aren’t as trustworthy as a 50-year-old chair.  But you believe them because it’s what they said that got you.  “Baby, I’d never hurt you because you mean the world to me,” is yet another lie but you fall for it because it’s all in what you say. 

When folk gossip, it only continues when folk add to it.  It’s just like starting a fire in the fireplace, the only way it continues to burn you have to add wood to it because as soon as you stop adding to it, it goes out.  Well, when Shelly comes to you gossiping about what she heard about Sue, she’ll continue talking as long as you keep adding your 2 cents, but if you don’t put wood on her fire, she eventually burn out.  If we stopped entertaining mess, then our life wouldn’t be messy but if you keep allowing folk to bring trash into your yard, it’ll soon start looking like a junk yard.  Why do you need to collect other folk’s trash, when you got enough stuff of your own to deal with?  If you keep allowing Nosey Jim to bring you junk from his yard, you won’t have space for your own stuff. But every time you see the police in your neighborhood, here come Jim with the 411 even if he doesn’t have all the facts, he’s speculating and you’re caught right in the middle.  But if you stop adding words to Jim’s gossiping conversation, he’ll soon run out of things to say and when he realizes you don’t entertain the gossip that he brings, he’ll stop coming. Proverbs 26:20 say “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.”  Take for instance, you’re mad at your sister because your cousin text you saying she was talking about you.  Instead of calling your sister to straighten it out, you text your other cousin who adds her opinion in on it and now this mess that could have been laid to rest has spiraled into a full forest fire. Why, because, you added fuel to it by putting others in it?  It’s all in what you say.  If you acted like the adult you are and nipped this in the bud at first, by calling your sister, you wouldn’t have the whole family in the middle of it.  But the first person who started it is nowhere to be found because all they did was start the fire, you’ve taken over control.  Proverbs 16:28 says “A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.”   Just imagine how much better we would be if we would take the time to pray for folks as much as we gossip about them.  Aren’t I supposed to be my brother’s keeper?  But how can I be when I’m the messiest person ever?  I don’t ever have anything nice passing through my lips because I’m too busy being in other folk’s business.  I can’t keep my own front porch clean because I am too busy sweeping off my neighbors.  I can’t build my own home up because I am too busy tearing down my brother’s.  I can’t pray for momma who is sick because I’m too busy with the phone to my ear gossiping about other’s business.  I can’t offer you a hug because I’m too busy trying to see who is stabbing you in the back.  I can’t help pull you out of the ditch that others have pushed you in because I’m too busy asking why are they pushed you.  If I keep my mouth, I’ll keep my blessings.  Proverbs 10:19 say, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”  It’s all in what you say, so choose your words and who you share them with carefully.  Just because they call themselves friends, it means they are.  The devil can be in the cleanest suit too!  

Why do you talk about me when I cross your mind when you could easily say a prayer? Why do you hate on me because of the clothes I wear? Why are you jealous of the blessings I’ve received, favor isn’t fair.  But maybe if you took the time to worry about your own life instead of others, you’d be blessed too because God has enough to share.