Self-control over what comes out of your mouth is SUPER challenging for me. It is most especially difficult when in a stressful situation. The other day I actually prepared myself for the frustrations that would occur at work by focused praying and yet I found myself later that day in a surprise I need this now situation. So, I scrambled to get together a couple of spreadsheets that could be used for a test import meeting that was starting as I spoke. Really?! You couldn’t have thought of this in the morning so I could have some time to prepare them. So, off I went rushing to get these spreadsheets done and sent when in comes what we like to call the “pit bull” co-manager because she is on top of things to get them done. My frustration was coming out of my mouth but I explained that I just got the call that this was needed which she didn’t realize so she leaves me be for about another minute and comes back. I tell her I am working it and have almost got it ready and then in SO my temperament way I said, “I can’t magically pull these out of my butt”. Well, she thought it was funny, which is what I intended for it to be to get her to back off. Unfortunately, she goes into the other manager’s office where the meeting is going to take place and tells those that are in there. They all were laughing about it but the co-worker on speaker phone in our Texas office was offended by it. So, I got a talking to about my language. Ugh. I felt so wounded and defeated and honestly was feeling like God didn’t help me. So, I was cranky and depressed for the rest of the day. The good news is I got over it and had to realize that with my forgiveness from God I had to forgive myself. I ended up reading from The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell and was just awed by how God works. He gave me some wisdom on this whole self-control over my mouth thing and gave me what to do. Here is an expert on the Law of Consistency chapter:
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. That means developing great habits. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day. Over time that daily crossing becomes a habit. And ultimately, people do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future. As author and speaker Brian Tracy says, “From the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to sleep at night, your habits largely control the words you say, the things you do, and the ways you react and respond.”
So, I thought to myself how can I make my responses to people become loving, gentle and kind even in the midst of impatience, frustration and stress? I already had memorized this scripture but realized it was something I had to use constantly for every action, words I say and responses and reactions I make. Scripture is the sword of the spirit. It can overcome my weakness in my self-control over my mouth but it will take patience and persistence. Growth doesn’t happen instantaneously which is where my down on God attitude came from the other day. God is patiently persisting in working on and refining me. So, I thank him for this wisdom and will work on using his word as my daily defense against the weakness within me to turn it into a strength that glorifies God.
Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.