By: Carole L. Haines
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits. (Proverbs 18:21)
I had a fierce falling out with one of my children recently and it was shocking to us both. We reconciled quite quickly, but as we asked forgiveness and restored our relationship, we were both shocked at how fierce it was. We were both so remorseful and sorry for what we had said to each other. The question came up between us,
“How did that even happen? Why did we say those things to each other?”
The answer came to me quickly from the Lord,
“Because it was already there. You had thought those things and rehearsed them in your mind as you held a grudge against each other for years.”
Ouch! But O, how true that is. God’s Word warns us not to entertain things in our mind that don’t belong there, things that will not build up the other person. What are we rehearsing? In our falling out, my son and I had rehearsed wrong responses to each other and when the opportunity arose in our aggravation, we said those things to each other, with great regret and sorrow.
God’s Word tells us that sin is sequential, it often happens in stages, rather than all at once.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Do you see the sequence?
- First we are lured and enticed by our own desire.
- Then when that desire is conceived it gives birth to sin.
- When sin is fully grown, it brings forth death.
My son and I had held grudges against each other. We had wrongly nursed and rehearsed what we would say to each other. When anger gave us the opportunity, we sinned in our words to each other. The reconciliation and restoration God provided between us was powerful. Our relationship is much more honest and open, we are careful to admit how we are really feeling. God brought great good out of it, but if you asked us now, we’d still rather not have lost it with each other.
So Beloved in Christ, what are you rehearsing in your head about another person? You may want to grab hold of that and bring it under Christ’s care and control before you say something that is hurtful to someone you love.
Have a Blessed Day!