My Built-in, Underutilized Filter

photo-on-11-30-16-at-1-21-pmDo you ever feel as if your mouth runs amuck, leaving your brain scrambling to catch up? And when conflict arises, or you feel squeezed, does your brain ever lag so far behind, the party is over before she even realizes there’s been an invite?

Life can be crazy hard, and the harder it gets, the more I’m able to see my flaws. My areas of weakness; those places where my patience runs thin; and those thoughts, attitudes and encounters that trigger and feed my sinful nature.

And each morning, as I sit with my Bible, I prayerfully commit to facing the day differently. Only to fail, again and again and again.

When that happens, I’m tempted to retreat. To avoid the hard all together. Oh, how easy it’d be to remain Christlike surrounded by my nice, peaceful, loving Christian friends in my nice safe little social circle.

But God has not called me to isolate or self-protect. Nor has He called me to walk this journey, to embrace the hard and confront the ugly, alone.

Throughout Scripture, God invites us to do life with Him. To surrender all we are, to lean on Him, and to die to ourselves so that He can live through us. But what does that mean? How can we live that out?

Imagine having an internal filter that pricks then changes our heart, moments, maybe even hours, before our words erupt?

We have that in Christ. The problem is, we don’t always use the filter He provides–often because we’re caught off guard, or get pulled into a moment or struggle. Or maybe we’re simply to busy and distracted to tap into the power and wisdom that’s available to us.

Consider David’s words and how the truth he shared might apply to one’s battle with the psalm139-7tongue: “You know what I’m going to say even before I say it, Lord” (Ps. 139:4).

Because He knows. He knows everything I’m going to face in a given day, how those things will strike me and set me back, how I’ll respond (or be tempted to) when they do.

And if I ask, God will share this insight with me, preparing me for what’s ahead.

What about you? What are some ways you’ve been able to successfully guard your tongue in the most difficult situations? Share your examples, encouragement, and suggestions with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from one another!

 

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About Jennifer Slattery

Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery, also writing as Jen Pheobus, uses humor, grace, and truth to inspire God's children to live abundant, Christ-centered lives. She does content editing for Firefly, a southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and is a regular contributor to Crosswalk.com; Internet Cafe Devotions; Faith, Friends and Chocolate; and manages the social media for Takin’ it to the Streets, a ministry that serves Omaha’s working poor and homeless. She’s placed in numerous writing contests and her work has appeared in numerous compilations, magazines, and e-zines.
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4 Responses to My Built-in, Underutilized Filter

  1. Jennifer says:

    I have noticed when my emotions are getting icky…not as joyful as they once were…I need to ask myself and the Holy Spirit, “What is it?” “Why am I feeling this way?” And many times a thought is returned and the thought had been a lie. For example, I was feeling down and I asked that question and I caught: “I’m not good enough. What did you do that?” So, the next step is to find out the truth from God. “I am more than a conqueror!” That more time we can catch the lies before the whole pot is percolated or we have blown our top, the more we will be Christ-like. It is a journey to learn the truth and catch lies.

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    • I love this, Jennifer! You are so right–so many of our actions and reactions are based on our inner lies and all the false labels we’ve picked up over the years. Are you local? My ministry, Wholly Loved, facilitates a Wholly Loved conference at various churches throughout the Omaha Metro where we talk about releasing our inner lies and replacing them with truth and more. I’d love for you to come. 🙂

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      • Jennifer says:

        Actually, I am in the metro Detroit area. Thank you so much for the invite. I would love to visit if I was in the area. This ministry/your ministry of teaching others the lies we tell ourselves and replacing with truth is so vital and liberating! How exciting! God’s got great things in store for you. Enjoy the journey!!

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      • Ah! Thanks so much for the encouragement! ❤

        Like

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