Muzzled: Dealing With a Negative Focus

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.

Wasted time.

Wasted energy.

Wasted emotion.

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.

“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

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.