Monday, November 2, 2009

Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say...

Are you watching Survivor Samoa?  If so, you know there is a character on there named Russell H. who is controlling the game, being deceitful and conniving behind everyone's backs.  Yes, there seems to be at least one of those every season but this year it seems to be over the top!  I have had a few things to say about how he is playing the game - and unfortunately not much of what I've had to say has been positive.  Sure, he doesn't give me much to work with in the positive realm, but nonetheless I should have been a little less judgmental.

This morning I woke up and found a post on my Get Gutsy for God Facebook Fanpage from his wife. She was hurt because she thought I hated him and that I was judging him as a person.  My heart sank.  It's so easy to forget, even after having been on the game myself, that these people are real-life people with feelings and lives outside of the game.  I should never have expressed my opinions publicly about how he is playing the game.  When you say you are a Christian, your behavior is put under a microscope and people expect you to behave in a different manner.  I didn't behave in a different manner and as a result, I've hurt her feelings and had to humbly ask for forgiveness.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this?  I think we tend to justify putting people down when we feel they "deserve it" but Ephesians 4:29 is clear..."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."  It doesn't say "unless you think they are deserving of your slander" anywhere in that verse, nor does it say it anywhere in the context of the scripture.

Today I have to seek not only the forgiveness of Russell and his wife, but also the forgiveness of God. I misrepresented Him.  It's the worst feeling ever to know that I've done something that gave Satan ammunition to attack me - and most important, to attack my faith and my ministry.  I have learned though - and will be more careful what I say in the future.  You know, here I went trying to do God's job again!  I know according to the scriptures that's His job to judge, not mine!  Thank God for His grace and mercy!

This poem came to mind this morning as I reflected on my life-lesson.  I hope it will bless you today.  I didn't write this poem - I found it online a few years ago - not sure who wrote it...

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean living'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
And need Christ to be my guide.

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"
I don't think I know it all
I submit to my Redeemer 

Asking humbly to be taught.

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say, "I am a Christian,"

I do not wish to judge
I have no authority

I only know I'm loved.

When I say ... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow.


Simply Inspired Life said...

I stick my foot in my mouth too many times. I think you are a great person and posting this, imho, makes you an even better person. God bless you! Not one of us goes a day without messing up in some way or another.

Leslie Nease said...

Thank you so much...that was very sweet. It's true - if we were perfect, we would have no need for a Savior, would we? :) Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

HEY LESLIE!! I love the poem you referenced. Carol Wimmer wrote it in 1988.

Leslie Nease said...

Thank you for that reference!! It's a wonderful poem that has touched my life for many years. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie,

As a newer protestant who came from up north (former catholic), I think many people might not know that some in the South refer to Satan as "the enemy". It's sort of a regional thing and I'm sure you didn't want anyone to think that that man's wife was "the enemy" - ha ha!! Just an observation and not a criticism. I love you and your work. I especially love your humility and willingness to own up to mistakes. If more Christians could have that attitude, we would be able to win so many more people over for Christ!

Leslie Nease said...

OH wow!! Thank you - you are so was not her I was referring to at ALL. I'm so glad you said something!! I will change it to say Satan to avoid any possibility of confusion. Sometimes we speak that "Christianese" and forget that it might need a translation! haha

You are appreciated so much!

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