In God’s eternal sovereignty and wisdom, He is ever showing me the errors, ,sins if you will, of my ways and in His characteristic gentleness, introducing me to a better path. Lately, I am learning the bitterness of eating my words and the savory benefits of holding my tongue, specifically in my judgements of others and my own declarations of holiness.
In my pious moments I have often said, “I will never….” or perhaps of others, “I cannot believe they….” quickly followed by a summary of their spiritual status for which no one asked me .
And so in this last year, I find myself over and over, “eating my own words” and finding myself smack dab in the middle of the “I can’t believe they….” situation. Hmmmm….
Self righteousness is easy when your children are model citizens, your church is a balm of health and healing, and your spouse and you are in sync. But one day your will find yourself upside down, inside out and wondering how, in all your careful ways of deep spirituality, obedience to every rule, and vast amount of memorized Scripture, you got in this place. When you find ourself in that place, at first you panic. Then you become angry that God changed rules you so carefully followed. You will try to play by the old rules in this new game, and it won’t work. You will stubbornly refuse to ask for the new rules and will continue to remind God He is not keeping His end of the bargain. You will find yourself utterly exhausted at the end of your tantrum, much like a two-year old who has been refused candy for breakfast. In your states of exhaustion, you allow God to hold you. Instead of spanking, like an irritated, impatient earthly parent, He holds you and whispers His love to you. You see, we cannot embarrass Him for His reputation is not dependant on our behavior. Instead He is ever pushing us forward to become the exact image of Christ.
Soon, your tears are over and it’s time to get up and move forward. Your rules have been torn and tossed in a corner in your fit of rage. You find to your surprise that the new path you walk does not have a numbered square in which you step. In fact, you cannot even see much beyond the step in front of you. You find yourself walking places you thought you never would, some glorious, others, places you have scorned in former days. You realize that in humility, it’s no one else’s path but your own. You remember your judgments passed on others, with Bible in hand and underlined Scriptures and suddenly, you know that you had no idea really. But now you know.
When you allow God remove your Pharisictical judgments of others, He replaces it with compassion. When you swallow those awful bitter words of “I would never….” you have room on your plate for, ” I know how you feel…” or “I love you…”
So I am fully aware this morning of the sting of judgements. Ones I have passed and as of late, those passed upon me. The next time I eat my words, I hope they are sweet ones…..