Foot in Mouth

Tonight I had one of those real life lessons taught to me. I will not share the details of what took place, but I will just suffice it to say that I said something I wished I would not have said, and I felt badly afterwards that I said it, and so I apologized for it and for my insensitivity.

It was not a horrible thing. It was just one of those situations where I spoke before I thought about what I was saying. I opened my mouth, and as the saying goes, “I inserted my foot.” I let what I was thinking in my mind come out through my mouth, and then it was too late.

So, I prayed to the Lord about it, and I examined what was in my heart, since it is out of the heart that our mouths speak. And, I realized that I was letting something bother me that I shouldn’t have let bother me, and what was bothering me then slightly altered how I treated someone.

And, because I let it bother me, and I didn’t give it over to the Lord, then later I verbalized part of it out loud, and in front of others, and then I felt like I just blew it. I felt like I just blew my testimony. But, once you say it, it’s out there, and you can’t take it back.

People are Listening

So, after I apologized, and after I prayed it through, or while I was praying it through, I journaled (privately) what had just taken place. But, before I even began journaling, the Lord was already speaking to me through a song. And, when I looked at the lyrics to the song, this scripture was right at the top, right under the title, before the lyrics began.

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84

And, immediately this spoke to my heart. And, it reminded me that people are listening to what we say, and what we say can impact them for good or not for good. The words we say when we don’t have our guards up, and when we can’t go back and delete a bad sentence (as in writing), can’t be erased. People may or may not forgive us, but what is said is said, and we don’t know how our words may impact another.

But, the other part of this is that what we say comes from what is in our hearts, and so when something comes out that we didn’t want to come out, then we need to look at what is in our hearts, and we need to allow the Lord to change our hearts and our attitudes and our thinking.

So, in examining my heart I realized I was thinking more about me and my discomfort than I was thinking about this other person and how my discomfort might impact how I would treat him. It was selfish on my part. And, so I spoke before I thought because my thoughts were centered on self and what I was feeling rather than thinking about what I was saying or who I was saying it in front of.

Probably most of you have been there at some time or another in your life, so you know what I am talking about. We get focused on things that are not essential in this life, little things which offend or annoy us, and thus we get self-focused, and then we lose sensitivity to those around us and how our words or actions might impact them for good or for bad.

But, words matter! They matter a lot!!

Not Perfect Yet

So, I am praying for greater sensitivity to the Spirit’s voice in this area so that I am more self-aware of when my thoughts are going to something that is negative, so that I can exchange that negative thought for something more praiseworthy; so I can be more self-aware of when my thoughts are going to something centered on me, instead of on others or on God, too.

For, you see, He’s still working on me. I have not arrived. As Paul said, I have not already been made perfect. So, what do I do now? I have repented, I have apologized for my insensitive remark, and now I must move on, and I must not kick myself for it over and over again, which I have done before. I just feel horrible when I do something like this.

So, like Paul said, I must now forget what is behind me, and I must press on to what lies ahead. He said, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil. 3:12).

But, this doesn’t mean I totally forget, for there is something to be learned from this, and I need to learn what God has to teach me, and I need to cooperate with his work of pruning in my life by allowing him to show me what is in my heart that needs to come out of my heart. And, obviously there is still some selfishness there that needs pruned away.

And, to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me is to take hold of his holiness, his righteousness, his selflessness, and his purity. So, I forget what is behind only in the sense that I don’t keep revisiting it in my mind and kicking myself over it. I forgive myself, in other words. But, I take what took place to the Lord in prayer for him to reveal to me what still needs to be brought to the cross in my heart.

For, God gives us these lessons, where we have to learn things the hard way, so that we do learn, and so that we do have a change of heart and mind, and so that we are being conformed more and more to his likeness. For, he is pruning us to make us even more holy.

God’s Amazing Grace

But, another aspect of this, too, is accepting God’s forgiveness for when we fail. And, that is wonderful that we have his grace, and we have his forgiveness when we do fail, and that he restores us, and he encourages and strengthens us, and that he grows us in him, and he matures us through these times, if we are willing to allow him to change our hearts.

But, let me add just one word of caution here. This is not talking about willful premeditated habitual sin. We can’t keep ignoring God’s voice and keep telling him “No” and telling our flesh “Yes” and then expect that his grace is just going to cover it all. The scriptures are real clear on that subject. If we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk in darkness, we lie and we do not live by the truth (See 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Rom. 8:1-17).

But, if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with him and with one another who are also in fellowship with him, and his blood cleanses us from every sin (See 1 Jn. 1:5-9). For, it is God’s will and his design for our lives that we not sin. But, if we do sin, he is our advocate (1 Jn. 2:1-2).

So, if we are walking (in practice) according to the Spirit of God, in the light of his truth and righteousness, but we fail sometimes, we are forgiven. But, we should learn from the failure, and we should allow the Lord to change our hearts, and we should cooperate with whatever he leads us to do so that we don’t keep repeating the same sins or failures over and over again. We should learn from our mistakes, and grow from them, in other words.

But, if you are one who is habitually sinning against God, especially fully knowing what you are doing, that you are doing wrong, and yet you keep doing it over and over again, then you have not truly repented of your sin. And, scripture teaches that either you are living in spiritual adultery against your Lord, or you don’t really know God, because you are walking (living) in disobedience to him. So, I pray you will surrender your life to him today.

[See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Gal. 5:16-21.]

Songs in the Night

An Original Work / December 18, 2013

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84

Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.

I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!

Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.

I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!

Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.

Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!

 

8 thoughts on “Foot in Mouth

    • We all do. Daily by the Spirit we must put to death the deeds of the flesh. Daily we take up our cross and follow Christ. Daily we must put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s temptations and his evil schemes against us. So, yes, we need to regularly be examining our hearts and allowing God to purify our hearts and to make us more like him.

      Thank you for sharing that with me. I appreciate that.

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  1. I don’t know about you Sue but there are times when I sincerely hesitate on opening my mouth. The guilt which the Sin Offering in the Old Testament atoned for is that from a sin which was unintentional and unknown at the moment the sin was committed. Unintentional or unknown, if that doesn’t make you think, I don’t know what will. I can’t help but think we’re talking about the tip of the iceberg kind of thing. My ways are not your ways, My thoughts are not your thoughts. I strongly suspect that we have little idea of the magnitude of the difference being discussed. There is not one of us that doesn’t put our foot in our mouth, not one and I would suspect, we do it daily, perhaps hourly. God’s grace is a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing Sue, God’s blessing on you and yours. – Bruce

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    • Thank you, Bruce. I appreciate you sharing those thoughts. I think, though, if we find ourselves doing this too much that we have to examine what is in our hearts for it is out of our hearts that our mouths speak. For, sometimes, though our words may be unintentional at the time, they often reflect what is in our hearts. So, we have to get rid of whatever is in our hearts which comes out through our tongues so that we don’t keep putting our foot in our mouth.

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