No matter how long we've been following Jesus there are things we still need to work on. Just when we think we've reached a resting place on our Christian journey, we find there is another hill to climb, another habit to break, another stronghold that must be surrendered to the power and will of Christ. Our first of five things we are reluctant to turn over to the control of Christ is negative habits. Generally we all have ways of living and acting that we slowly turn over to Jesus over time.
The second thing Christians are slow to give to God is their words. This includes the words we choose to use when we're frustrated as well as the words we speak when we think few people are listening. James says that sweet and bitter water can't come from the same spring so why do sweet and bitter words often come from the same mouth? (James 3:10-11) Whether it is foul language and dirty talk or gossip and slander, it all pertains to the tongue. What we say can make or break our testimony for Jesus. My daughter pointed out this reality when we were watching a TV show. A person on the show was praying and asking God for help and then in the next scene used an expletive. My daughter, still at the stage where things are only black and white, looked at me and asked how that person could say they loved Jesus one second and then be swearing the next. A good discussion then followed. Obviously, none of us are 100% consistent in our actions and beliefs but she illustrates a point. We often let people know that we believe in and follow Jesus but when we get frustrated or simply let down our guard, our words tell a very different story. They let others know that God hasn't gotten control of our tongue yet. The Bible commands us in Ephesians 4:29 to let no corrupting talk come out of our mouths but only words that build up, words appropriate to the occasion that we may give grace to people who hear us. Do your words give grace or do they shock people with their vulgarity? Do you talk one way at church among other Christians and another way when you're at work?
Perhaps it's not the specific words you use but the way you talk about people. You like gossip. If we are completely honest with ourselves we would all have to admit that we like a juicy bit of information and we like to be the one hearing it and passing it on. Or sometimes we get caught up in conversation and end up saying things about people or offering opinions about people that are not at all Christ-like.
Our words become habitual and it's hard to give this aspect of our lives over to God. That's why it's on a list of the last five things Christians give to God!
What can you do, to turn this stronghold over to God?
1. Repent. Admit that you have a problem with foul language or negative talk. You can't address what you won't admit!
2. Ask for accountability. Tell people who love you that you are really making an effort to tame your tongue. Ask them to call you out when you let loose with inappropriate words.
3. Pray for self-control. This is not a one-time prayer. This should be a daily or multiple times daily, prayer. Ask God to help you hear the Holy Spirit more clearly.
Do you agree with the list so far of the last 5 things Christians give to God?
1. Negative Habits