Bridle It Sister
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26 ESV)
The other day, a well-meaning Christian woman reminded me of how good I looked ‘back when I was thin’.
I wasn't impressed either. Having picked myself up off the floor, I limped to my room, and stood critically eying myself in the mirror. Turning this way and that, I pinched and prodded up one side and down the other. I did look better before I had the extra baggage . . . now I look just tired and saggy.
But did she need to speak it?
Proverbs 15:4 says, ‘A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.’
Perverseness here is the Hebrew word ‘seleph’ and it means crooked or perverse. What she said wasn't crooked – it was true! But her words weren't gentle, and my spirit was broken.
Some believe that we have the right to speak our minds and to say what we think. We can blame cultures or traditions, or even the liberty and freedom that comes from being in Christ. But I say, no. Just . . . no.
More than anything, Jesus taught us about love. About seeing past the tax collectors’ old ways, the sins of the Samaritan woman, the greed and deceit of Judas and instead show affection and acceptance. They will know we are Christians by our love . . . and it’s the kindness of the Holy Spirit that leads them to repentance.
Just because something is true, doesn't give us license to break spirits. Sometimes we need to bridle it, sister and show women that we love them as Christ does. Just as they are, extra pounds and all . . . or our faith will be worthless.
Father, forgive us for flinging words like spears piercing our sisters’ hearts. Help us to build up Your body with words of love and encouragement. And sweet Holy Spirit cleanse us from any hurts and labels that have made their ways into our hearts, helping us to see ourselves through Your accepting eyes.
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