In some of the stuff we talked about at home church recently... I really don't even know how I got off on this... but I was talking about things that are precious/valuable to us.
I won't let my nephew handle my laptop computer because I know he's not as cautious as I would be. Sometimes I'll be looking at something and he or his sister will come near the computer with their soda and I'll cringe just a little bit and wish I had a protective covering for it or something so I'll know it will be safe.
My stream of the idea flowed straight into the thought that, if I was that cautious with something that only costs a few hundred dollars, why am I so careless with priceless things like people? I'll be impatient, or bring people around ideas or complaints that crumbs of it could get into the filter of their mind and corrupt things.
I wonder how often God cringes when I rush so carelessly into someones life and situation with my dirty hands and less than tender approach just as I have my nephew.
The thought also flowed out of how often I'll listen to my niece and nephew hurl words at each other, until at some point one of them crosses the invisible line I've put up and I round on the accuser with "You're talking about someone I love and it's best you remember that!"
So often, we Christians will accuse and hurl our own insults/complaints/less than gracious comments and I wonder if at some point God wants to come down and say "HEY, you're talking about someone I love!".
So often, I see these little things as just sins... things I shouldn't be doing because they're bad. But there's another level of correction when you realize you haven't just hurt the person you were talking about - but you offended your Father, who loves that person. I know I just don't think that far sometimes.
I watched it happen this week, someone complained about someone that I care about and I worked hard to bite my tongue. But inside, I hurt for my friend and wished there were some way to protect them from the other persons very vocal opinions of the situation.
It doesn't feel good to imagine God feeling that about me.
So my prayer today is that God would use this lesson to remind me, to walk softly, and tenderly into peoples lives. Use words with grace, and wisdom - especially the ones that must be mingled with admonitions. Help me to guard my tongue, that "world of iniquity" so that I bridle it, rather than allow it to control me. I pray that God would give me wisdom in the days and hours ahead, that each obstacle I meet I would have the grace to meet it as Christ Himself would. Not as I, but Him who liveth in me.
And most of all, I pray that I would diligently feed, and nurture that Spirit who lives in me, that He would not just live, but grow, thrive, and give birth to fruits that this mind cannot fathom.
It's not about what not to say though... because I could go my whole life without tearing someone down and still not build them up.
Lord, let the construction begin with me.