The Simple Life
When I met our youth in Virginia for a mission trip I got to hear Brother Tim, a Franciscan Monk. Brother Tim lives at the Southern Baptist Monastery and runs a food bank. The food bank is a 1.7 million operation on a budget of $25,000.00. God is so good! You knew this was Brother Tim's passion by the way he called each person by name when they came through the line. He also knew about them.
Brother Tim told the kids what it is like living in the Monastery. First thing in the morning - as soon as they wake up they say, "Lord remind me that my mouth is to praise. The last thing they say at night is, "God, grant us a restful night." From 9pm til 6:30am is quiet time. This really touched me. Forget the 9pm to 6:30am, I just wish I would use those two sentences!
It is essential for us to give thanks to God. He is worthy and deserving of our praise! He is good, loving, forgiving, faithful, gracious and merciful! Psalm 107: 1, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." He never changes. Even when trials come our way He is the same. We must watch our mouths when trials and tribulations come along. When life sends us negative challenges we must remember to continuously thank God for His authority, love and ability to get us through. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
We are reminded in 2 Corinthians that we are jars of clay who shine the light of God within us. 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.""
I need to pray this every morning so that I do not let people push my buttons. I usually do not say it out loud but I do think it and I think that is just as bad. Ecclesiastes 10: 4, "If the ruler's anger rises against you, don't leave your place, for calmness puts great offenses to rest." You have witnessed two people not holding their tongues and get into a full blown fight over something silly. We should not allow people to talk us out of who we are. The Bible tells us to stay we we are and put the offense to rest. Ephesians 4: 29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
Some of us speak before we think which leads us to "unwholesome" talk. We put people down instead of lifting them up. Job admitted he had talked too much. Job 42: 3, "...Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know." Maybe we need to do like Job did. Job 40: 4, "I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth." James tells us in James 1: 19, "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..."
Jesus tells us that we will be held accountable for every word we speak. Matthew 12: 36, "But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken." Let's pray like the psalmist prayed in Psalm 141: 3, "Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."