“This is me, if you don’t like it you’re refusing to accept who I am!” The statement came at me loudly and angrily; startled I backed off, biting back the words of caution that had been trembling on my lips. I was silenced and intimidated! I suppose most of us have, at some time or other, met people who pride themselves on ‘speaking their minds’, challenging others to ‘take me as I am’! And how often have we found that, “I say what I think/tell it straight” are euphemisms for rudeness? Inevitably these attitudes unsettle me and I slip away quietly, wondering if there is something wrong with me. I feel guilty for being irritated, guilty for wondering how Yahshua would deal with it, guilty for questioning why salvation hasn’t improved the attitude. And now I find myself anxiously searching my heart; is it true that I don’t accept a person if I want them to change something hurtful or destructive? After all, what makes me think that my standards are the appropriate ones?
If you have been walking with Yahshua for any length of time you know that “…(working) out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” [Phil. 2:12] demands change. We can do nothing about our sin, that was dealt with, once and forever, at Calvary. The New Testament, however, is full of the challenge to change, and to ‘perfect holiness out of reverence for [Yahweh]’. [2 Cor. 7:1]. It is expected that our lifestyles, attitudes, habits, desires will be purged and purified. How we live after redemption is very important, and our tongues, according to the Apostle James, are seriously unruly; difficult to tame, a restless evil and full of deadly poison! [James 3:8]. We’re expected to do something about that!
This year I have been encouraged by the Holy Spirit to add David’s prayer to my own prayer list, “Set a guard over my mouth, Yahweh; keep watch over the door of my lips.” [Ps. 141:3] It’s a lifelong task to control our tongue, and we need all the help we can get; what a blessing that the Holy Spirit is willing to take that control when we yield it over to Him.