During the last few months I decided to avoid the news; I am still work in process! I admit it has been extremely challenging, but I can no longer witness so much hate, racism, disrespect, and violence. Are the loose ends of this broken world caused from the lack of strong moral values and absence of Christianity at home? Is it really “acceptable” to do immoral things when you feel totally right? When our emotions are running high or low, we are tempted to speak emotionally rather than sensibly.
By allowing wisdom to rise above emotion, we should speak only words of encouragement to live at peace with everyone. We get many opportunities every day to put this into practice, but it requires real discipline and determination. I know I have been hurt by someone’s words and I have hurt someone with my words, especially during such thought-provoking times. Think about the words you speak and you will learn a lot about yourself. As Christ followers, we are God’s representatives, and our words should reflect His character. Meditating on the goodness of God will fill our hearts with joy, and the words we speak will glorify Him and be a testimony to others. Purity of heart is not a natural habit ~ it is something that must be worked on in you and me.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19
A few weeks ago, I had an unexpected opportunity to meet a new friend. We spent the afternoon laughing, crying, splurging on frozen yogurt and telling our stories. How do two strangers meet over frozen yogurt and create such a strong bond? We shared our love for Jesus Christ. We didn’t notice the color of our skin, which may have been obvious to a few people. Why can’t the world see each other as we did without judgment or racism? Tina, my new friend, said “We bleed the same color as Jesus Christ, our skin color doesn’t matter!” Sadly, we did notice a few “stares” as we hugged each other good-bye and took selfies. Better yet, maybe they were staring because of our child-like behavior. Or even better, perhaps they wanted to share that kind of bond regardless of the color of our skin. I prayed it planted a seed.
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4
After our good-byes just a few moments later, I read this business sign on a sidewalk… another sign to love one another! And, if this wasn’t another nudge from our Heavenly Father, my “Ending Your Day Right” devotional below is how we ended the beautiful afternoon together.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8
Isn’t this Scripture enough to make a decision to control our anger, bitterness? Jesus just shows up mysteriously doesn’t He? He doesn’t need a friend request; He doesn’t text as He longs to hear from you; you can share His Word as the Truth because He is The Way! This day was such a reminder to love one another. Was this just “a coincidence?” Not for my new friend and me! We were rejoicing over the Gospel and those that really know me are wondering if Tina got a word in edgewise! Even though people may reject us, that’s why we need to develop inner reserves from which to draw strength in difficult situations. When things go wrong and stress starts to overwhelm us, purposefully refuse to be swept into this current. Always guard your heart against bad temper and irritability for what comes out of your mouth will always bring consequences!
Get a biblical perspective on dealing with anger and how to handle emotions. Discover how to live free from the control of anger. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:26-31
Because the world contains both good and evil, you can choose to focus on excellent, praisworthy things or on terrible, upsetting matters. Determine if you are “all in” and will be a bright light in this world of darkness. Ask God to help you glorify Him through your chocies and actions. Are you ready to feel God work in and through you? Are you willing to have purity in your heart – purity of thoughts, motives, attidudes, words and action? As I keep reminding myself, there is no better time than the present. It strengthens us so that we can follow Him faithfully as we journey through life.
Invest in a pure heart.