One of my children has the gift of sarcasm.
It’s all in fun, of course. Not.
I have the same skill set, though I keep my comments to myself. Entertaining such thoughts is damaging. A negative focus comes all too easily and before I know it, I’m stewing. Agitated. My hackles go up and I’m ready to snap.
I can’t spare any of them.
Our culture and our enemy work to keep us in a mindset that offers little grace and stresses us in the process.
Why don’t I clue in a little quicker when I’m hit by the emotional storm of hurt, disrespect, or rejection? Are the enemy’s fingerprints not all over it? Even if negativity doesn’t suck me in, I wrestle with it, play with it for a while, instead of giving it the boot. The engagement leaves me irritated, on edge, and ready to bite.
When Valor (Missed him, haven’t you?) focuses on something positive—food, toys, my voice—there’s little need for a muzzle. When he focuses on a perceived threat, something fearful, or pain, he will defend himself.
“If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Galatians 5:15
And isn’t that what the bite’s about? Self-defense?
This week, let’s stop the bite and strap on the muzzle:
1) Discernment: Pray for it. Daily. Ask God to show you the truth of the situation.
2) The Enemy: Stand firm. Resist him. Don’t play around by running the tape through your head.
3) Reinforcements: Our Shepherd has a rod and a staff. He will come to our defense.
4) The Master: If you have to bite, bite your tongue. Release the offender and focus on the Master.
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense . . .” Proverbs 17:9 NIV
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11
No bark. No bite. Just loving obedience.
Workout for the Week: Muzzled
Memory Verse: “I said, ‘I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.’” Psalm 39:4
Meditation Passage: Galatians 5:13-18
Just Do It: Strap on your muzzle.