From The Pastor’s Heart – February 14, 2018
From the Pastor’s Heart,
As I lay there in the dentist’s chair thinking about the news that was just delivered to me I felt myself getting more and more frustrated. I had broken off part of my tooth and the cost to get it repaired was very high. My first response was to voice my displeasure with the outrageous cost of what seemed to be a fairly quick and simple procedure. While I was waiting for the dentist to return I began to plan out in my head the most effective way to communicate my displeasure.
All of the sudden the Lord brought to mind a verse that I have been studying with my 7th grade cell group at CCS. It was Proverbs 15:1 “A soft and gentle and thoughtful answer turns away wrath, but harsh and painful and careless words stir up anger.” We have been looking at what the Bible says, here and many other places, about how to respond when we think we have been unjustly treated. Sometimes it might even be a just criticism or discipline that it stirs up our emotions. We can lash out, like I was planning in my head as I lay in the dentist’s chair, or we can heed the words of Solomon and give a soft and gentle answer.
So I had a choice. How would I respond to what I felt was unfair treatment? I asked the Lord to help me and He did. All of the sudden as the dentist and his assistant’s came in the room and began to work on my tooth a sense of gratitude came over me. I became thankful that I even had the option of getting help when I know that many people in the world would not. The dental assistant was very kind and she was good at her job. I suspect I would not have even noticed if I had continued down the path I started down a few minutes earlier.
As I left the office I thanked each one of the staff who had helped me and the time ended on a peaceful note. If I had gone through with my plan to voice my displeasure and let them know that I felt their work was not worth what they charged, the outcome would have been much different. Sure, I still had to pay the bill but I was at a place of peace rather than anger and I’m sure their day was much better too.
The writer of Proverbs 15 goes on to say in verse 4 that “A soothing tongue [speaking words that build up and encourage] is a tree of life, but a perversive tongue [speaking words that overwhelm and depress] crushes the spirit.” Let’s look for opportunities to show the love of God to others around us. The result will be a blessing to others and bring freedom for ourselves.
Liz and I will miss being with you this weekend. We plan to travel to VA Beach to visit Cameron. Phil Basinger will continue his study on freedom as he brings the word on Sunday morning.
Have a blessed week!