Daily Archives: October 1, 2022

It’s Just a Flesh Wound

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It’s Just a Flesh Wound

mother placing a bandage on her child

 

Linda Vulcano – cbn.com

Years ago, a friend was telling me about a scene from the movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. A character has one arm cut off and then the other, but keeps saying things like, “It’s just a flesh wound! No problem!”

Even though I didn’t see the movie myself, I’m often reminded of that scene when I’m being honest about my personal struggles with unforgiveness.

As a passionate follower of Christ, I know the dangers of unforgiveness. Matthew 18:21-35 records the parable about a man who had a great debt forgiven, only to fail to forgive someone else. His punishment is harsh.

I know I am required to forgive when someone hurts me. My problem is, I often don’t want to admit that I have been hurt.

Like the man in the movie, I say, “It’s just a flesh wound… really nothing!” I end up harboring bitterness and resentment way down deep in my heart, simply because I am unwilling to admit I have been hurt.

I think the problem is, I don’t want to face the fact that once I choose to love someone, I am also giving them the power to hurt me. Such vulnerability is scary. To think I can be wounded by criticism or rejection from someone I care about is sometimes a reality I want to run from.

I want to be invincible to such hurts. The problem is, I’m not invincible. And no one who loves will ever be safe from harm. After all, it was Christ who loved like no one else, and the result was unimaginable suffering.

So, we have to choose. The only way to be protected from hurt is to love no one. And that’s not a real choice. Being hurt will always be part of living in a fallen world.

I attend a church that uses liturgy as part of the worship service. Each week, we confess that we have “sinned in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and what we have left undone.”

Sometimes I need to make another confession – for me a much harder one. “I confess that I have been sinned against.”

My pastor is faithful to remind us often of the scriptural teaching from Ephesians 4:26-27 warning us to not let the sun go down on our anger. I have let many “suns” set while failing to forgive, simply because I didn’t want to admit I was hurt.

Ephesians 4:27 ends with the words,

“… for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”

It’s a sobering reminder of the results of harboring unforgiveness.  A warning that I hope I can remember the next time I am hurt by someone I love.

Speaking Life with Fruitful Words

 By Megan Evans, Crosswalk.com

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” — Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)

If you were to record every word that you spoke for an entire day and then played it back to yourself, what message would you hear? Would you hear life-giving speech or words full of negativity, criticism, and gossip? I don’t know about you, but depending on the day, I might be glad I was the only one listening to that recap. We aren’t perfect, and it’s easy for words to slip out before we think, but this proverb reminds us that our words matter.

Taking a quick inventory of our conversations not only points us to the power of the tongue but also to the fruit of its words. Who wants to eat rotten fruit all day? Yet without even realizing it, the words we say and hear can begin to negatively affect how we feel about ourselves, others, and even our world. Likewise, we may even be inadvertently shaping the thoughts of others.

Careless and complacent words may seem irrelevant, but our words matter to God, to others, and even to ourselves. Instead of spoilage, we have the choice to speak with healthy and delicious words that leave behind the aroma of Christ every single day. And when we do, we will not only speak life into others but ourselves too. The Bible is God’s Living Word, and when we live out and speak its message, the world gets a taste of Jesus. As it says in Proverbs 16:24, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”

Our tongue is also an important part of our testimony, mission field, and ministry. In order to change the fruit that our words produce, we have to start by planting healthy seeds. When we feast upon God’s Word daily, we will receive essential nourishment for our body, mind, and soul, as well as delicious and healthy fruit we can offer to others. We’ve all spoken words that we wish we could take back, and it is here in God’s love and grace that we will find forgiveness for unloving words and fresh new mercies for our tongue.

Do you find it hard to control what comes out of your mouth? Me too! Humans might be able to tame animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, yet James 3:8 reminds us that the tongue has yet to be mastered. This sounds a bit like a losing battle for us, so what do we do? Is there hope for the fruit of life-giving words over death?

Thankfully, a Child of God never has to choose defeat or settle for less than God’s best. Yes, we will remain in a battle for control over our tongue for the rest of our lives. Yet, as we lean into the counsel and teaching of the Holy Spirit, we can begin to cultivate wise and winning words. Victory over any sin begins by asking God for help.

When we surrender our life to Jesus, He becomes Lord over every area of our life–and this means He will lead us and show us how to speak, what to speak, and when to speak. Praise God!

Therefore, we can ask God then for awareness of words that are not pleasing to Him, and we can ask God to grow the fruit of His Holy Spirit in us instead. Daily, let’s begin feasting on the fruit of God’s Living Word. Let’s store up so much of this treasure that it begins to spill over and pour from our mouth. Today, let’s choose to speak words of life.

Streams in the Desert – October 1

  • 20221 Oct

It is good for me that I have been afflicted (Ps. 119:71).

It is a remarkable circumstance that the most brilliant colors of plants are to be seen on the highest mountains, in spots that are most exposed to the wildest weather. The brightest lichens and mosses, the loveliest gems of wild flowers, abound far up on the bleak, storm-scalped peak.

One of the richest displays of organic coloring I ever beheld was near the summit of Mount Chenebettaz, a hill about 10,000 feet high, immediately above the great St. Bernard Hospice. The whole face of an extensive rock was covered with a most vivid yellow lichen which shone in the sunshine like the golden battlement of an enchanted castle. There, in that lofty region, amid the most frowning desolation, exposed to the fiercest tempest of the sky, this lichen exhibited a glory of color such as it never showed in the sheltered valley.

I have two specimens of the same lichen before me while I write these lines, one from the great St. Bernard, and the other from the wall of a Scottish castle, deeply embossed among sycamore trees; and the difference in point of form and coloring between them is most striking. The specimen nurtured amid the wild storms of the mountain peak is of a lovely primrose hue, and is smooth in texture and complete in outline, while the specimen nurtured amid the soft airs and the delicate showers of the lowland valley is of a dim rusty hue, and is scurfy in texture, and broken in outline.

And is it not so with the Christian who is afflicted, tempest-tossed, and not comforted? Till the storms and vicissitudes of God’s providence beat upon him again and again, his character appears marred and clouded; but trials clear away the obscurity, perfect the outlines of his disposition, and give brightness and blessing to his life.

Amidst my list of blessings infinite
Stands this the foremost, that my heart has bled;
For all I bless Thee, most for the severe.

–Hugh Macmillan