I'm not really sure what I want.
Maybe I just need to clean my room, de-clutter (does that make sense?) I don't mean in a physical sense, I mean I need some kind of refocusing or redirection or something. I want change... I want to go somewhere new or try something out. (other than knitting, crochet, blogging, learning and just general life). I want to lose weight, get rid of these spots and rashes. I want to travel, get away from here, England. I want to go back to Holland, or France or Denmark or Greece or Ghana ANYWHERE but HERE! Even if its for a weekend. I want to shop or start painting again or take photographs. I want a polaroid camera. I want a dog or a cat or a bird or a can of tuna or something! Argh!
want want want want me me me meeeeeeeeee! GIVE MEEE
See the theme here? I'm so self-centred aren't I? There is always something else that I want - I never have enough and I'm sick of it (sick of being self-centred). Sick of not being satisfied with me or my current situation. Why not change it then, you say. Well God is leading me there. I am incredibly blessed (and I'm not just saying that for the sake of it) Blessed beyond abundance. So what is it, Why do I always need more? Because even under the blood of Jesus, I'm still a sinner capable of sinning. I am no longer bound by sinning but temptation is still there. You may (or may have) never thought of this, but complaining is damaging, not just to you but to others around you. If you're reading this right now, you're reading of some kind of electronically device. You can't complain. I cannot complain either. So through the power of God and His divine favour, I am challenging myself.
Take this challenge with me to do everything without complaining or arguing, speak words of love. And before we speak, let us really think about what is about to come out of our mouths.
I have started to ask myself these questions before I speak:
1. Is it kind? Sounds pretty straight forward but this has been difficult for me. I am generally quite sarcastic and I have this dark humour which people find intimidating (or annoying). Based on feedback of my friends (who broke it to me gently ha!) I have learnt to put this aside for the sake of others. Someone said to me "If sarcasm is part of you why should you feel the need to change it because some people don't like it?" Why would I change this part of myself? Because we don't live on an island of our own. We live in this thing called Earth, where our individual actions affect our environment, you may not think that your words, actions or lifestyle affect other but it does. You don't live in a bubble all by your self. It is a Circle of life sweety. Can you feel the love tonight? We are one, Hakuna Matata babes.
'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should not look to your own interests, but also to the interests of others'. Philippians 2:3-4
2. Is it edifying? Do your words build others up or break them down? Are you quick to criticise? I know I can be critical at times and lately I have taken a step back and thought, wait what authority do I have to shamelessly break others down! Who am I to turn someones day into a rotten one by the words of my mouth! Remember just as much as your words can be full of life, they can also hold corruption and deceit.
Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen'. Ephesians 4:29
3. Is it self-centred? Yes I know we're all very interesting people and we've all had interesting lives but do your conversations always divert back to you? Of course you're great and everything but do people shy away from asking you about things in the fear that you'll end up talking about your own problems in life? Make a conscious effort not to exalt yourself, it exudes pride.
'Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer to everyone' Colossians 4:23
4. Is it clean? I have heard many christians swear, I don't know what their justification is but I know I felt convicted from the beginning of my Christian journey to leave that talk to the world.
So if I don't swear how can my words be unclean? Well again at the start of my Christian walk, I used to talk 'dirty'. I'd always been a lustful person when I was in the world so naturally these things translated into my Christian life. Sometimes it wasn't what I said but in the way I said it, I often implied sexual motives behind innocent words and this is unclean and unholy. Body/Facial language is everything.
'Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving'. Ephesians 5:4
5. Is it necessary? Does it relate to the subject? What will this thing that you're about to say add or take away from the conversation? Do we really want to hear about how someone else is messing up? Gossip, slander, swearing, kissing your teeth (open for discussion) does nothing to add to a conversation. I realise that talks can be based on gossip alone! So we (as Christians) have to refrain from that and from people that do nothing but gossip. Because it isn't necessary and people that always actively seek to engage in that aren't necessary either.
'The words of gossip are like choice morsels: they go down to a man's inmost parts'. Proverbs 18:8
6. Is it truthful? Sound simple doesn't it? But have you every been caught in a breathless conversation where words just seem to be rolling, skating and bouncing of your tongue that you don't stop to think about what you're talking about? Yep. I'm Guilty. Out of excitement we sometimes tend to tell little fibs, they may not be major lies but... A lie is a lie... And a sin is a sin no matter the size.
'Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body'. Ephesians 4:25
Our speech has to be selfless. There is a place and time for everything, a place for criticism and place for sexual speech (in marriage). But there should never ever be a place for slandering, gossiping or even negativity. For the past 4 months this blog post has been my continual prayer, that God renew my speech. It is almost natural for me now to think before I say anything. Obviously I slip up now and then but it is nowhere as bad as it used to be. In order to allow God to take definitive measures to tame the tongue,we have to be willing.
'Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe'.