Have you joined in the reading and writing joy that is “Five Minute Friday” over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog, yet? Each one of us contributes 5 minutes of uninterrupted writing on a one-word prompt. There are no edits (some of us can’t help ourselves where the grammar or spelling is concerned!), no re-writes, and no over-thinking. Sharing? Yes indeedy! There is plenty of that.
Today’s prompt is: CHERISH
What does your heart struggle with? Mine? Just your average cherished sins.
Surely, you know exactly what I’m talking about? Those thoughts, words, and deeds that we know won’t bring us any closer to walking alongside this Jesus we claim to love. Those hard-to-break habits, those sinful habits, that are annoyingly ever-present in our lives? The ones we almost cherish.
Language – I must watch mine. Growing up as a boat Captain’s daughter, I knew full well the impact a foul-mouthed word could have. Unfortunately, I still do. When I stub my toe, lock the door behind me (without keys), get angrier than I have right to get, the words… they sometimes spill forth of their own will. Truly. I try to grab them back and stuff them back in. But then? Then, I am shamed upon the remembrance of this:
“For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
The Holy Spirit within me, more gently than my harsh thought moments ago, reminds me of this:
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
And God, in His infinite mercy and boundless grace for me, forces me to stop and really think on the last part of that verse in Ephesians. And he whispers right into my heart, “Sweet one, let everything be good and helpful… and an encouragement… even to yourself. Are you encouraging yourself, sweet one? Or are you beating yourself down?”
My focus has shifted. It is now on cherishing my God. Who has not forsaken me, who will not leave me; even as the words of my mouth sound like so many knives in His ears. I cherish, now, this sweetly, mercifully, lovingly whispered Truth. He cherishes me.
And I find myself guarding my heart, much more vigilantly, against the sin of my “unhelpful speech”. Because He cherishes me.