Tidbits and Blessings Blog
by Jeanie Malone
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What’s the Spirit of Your Communication?
Proverbs 15:4—A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: But perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. The Hebrew word used for “spirit” in this verse is translated as “ruach,” meaning “breath, wind, spirit.” This is the same word used for “Spirit” in many verses in reference to the Spirit of the LORD, such as in Messianic prophecy in Isaiah 11:1-5:
1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: 2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; 3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
In verse 2, we see the characteristics of the spirit of the Lord:
We can know if we are implementing these two greatest commandments by checking if we are reflecting Jesus’ character in our lives and relationships.
We might be quick to agree that we live with Godly wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, but let us judge by our fruit. Do we judge by what we see and hear? Do we live with righteousness only God can give? What is righteousness? Righteousness can also be thought of as “rightness” and entails accuracy, fairness, and justice. Even when we think we are right and righteous, we should verify by God’s Word. A good way to know for sure is to ask if we are judging someone or something by only what we see and hear, or only what we see and hear with our perception added to the mix. Do we judge by what we think? If we are personally offended, it’s likely that we are adding our own perception and personal judgment.
God’s design for every relationship is to draw us nearer to Himself. Sometimes we are the vessels used to show others His love, and sometimes we are on the receiving end. Ideal relationships grow all parties closer to the Creator.
But in this broken world, most relationships are broken as well. That doesn’t mean we should throw up our hands and quit when a person seems hell-bent on being hell-bent. We should see rejection and opposition as opportunities for intercessory prayer.
We are to plead to God on behalf of the other person. It’s important that we pray God’s Will and not interject our own perception into our prayers. What we know is God’s Will is for the other person to be a living vessel of honor submitted and completely reliant upon God for life and breath and direction. God doesn’t want us to make one decision without Him because He knows that alone we will mess it up, just as Adam and Eve messed it up in the beginning.
Our commitment to the relationship is a commitment to God to show His love to the other person. The love we have for someone comes from God. The determination we have for doing our part, regardless of how that person behaves, comes from God. Our love for someone does not depend on that person’s current determination, or lack thereof, to have a right relationship with God.
Our value of and respect for others doesn’t come from their beliefs and actions, it comes from our beliefs. When we understand this, we are in control to remain steadfast, regardless of the other person’s behavior. How we behave and respond toward others is a direct reflection of our relationship with Christ. It’s not always reflective of how the other person sees and treats us. Often, it’s an apparent contrast.
Two pieces of advice this week for your communications and relationships: Have a heavenly state of mind and leave the consequences up to God. Don’t worry so much about the other person’s response. Prayerfully, carefully choose your words after listening and seeking to empathize with the other person. Do all things with God’s love, and you’ll leave no room for selfish ambition. If things don’t go as you intend or hope, just keep prayerfully, carefully considering your own attitudes and actions, and leave the rest of to God. Just do your part, not trying to do His.
I love the example we have of King David in Psalm 27. He desires the LORD. He has enemies and knows his life is safest as close to God as he can get. Look in verse 8 where David acknowledges his own response to God’s invitation to us all to seek His face. David faithfully responded in obedience and with expectation. David shows full confidence in the LORD above all human forms of relationships, even his parents. He understands the inevitable fallibility of humans and knows his trust is more wisely placed in God. David seeks God’s help for how to maneuver his present situation and relationships. David is aware of the danger his enemies present, and his response is to seek God’s wisdom, direction, and protection. In verse 11, David asks God to teach him His ways. The word used for teach is interpreted as “yara” meaning “to throw, shoot.” The word used for way is interpreted as “Derek” meaning “way, road, distance, journey, manner.” David is asking God to help him know what choices to make in order to please God. Thinking of the teaching from the perspective of the student’s learning, David doesn’t want to aim and get it wrong, but he intends to hit a bull’s eye with his first attempt. He is confident that God will instruct him perfectly, and he is making himself ready to receive and obey God’s instructions.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. 7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. 9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. 11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. 12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. 13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
We all have an enemy of our soul and to our obedience to God. This enemy slyly uses unaware humans as his weapons of attack. Just as we read of David’s enemies in Psalm 27, you are likely aware of some folks being used as weapons against you.
Remember that these people aren’t truly the enemy, just the weapon the real enemy is using at the moment to trip you up and trip you out mentally, so you cannot focus on your source of strength and wisdom that will guide you safely through every attack.
Ephesians 6:10-18 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Notice some echoes in this passage from where we began in Proverbs 15:4 and Isaiah 11:1-5. This week, please read these scripture passages to yourself several times every day, pray asking God for wisdom, and spend time meditating on them. You will soon find them easier to understand and more naturally applied to your life. You won’t feel like you are fighting naked, and you won’t scramble to find and put on your armor when it’s really too late. ;-)
For a closer look at how our attitudes and words are formed and influence others, please visit the archives at the bottom of the page to see the following posts:
June 26, 2021--"Always Ready for Battle"
August 13, 2021--"The Power of Words"
August 27, 2021--Don't Let Distractions Lead to Your Destruction
I'm tired of running from God and am trying to learn to run to Him instead.