I must say, I am not easily offended. As a matter of fact, I jokingly tell people that you can try to offend me and I probably won’t even notice. To say I’m thick skinned in that area is an understatement (like a rhinoceros!). However, I am learning that sometimes unforgiveness and offense can sneak in like an unwanted cock roach and begin to nest in a busy life.
When I become offended or upset with someone I tend to immediately address it because I know the mess it can quickly become! Like when you see that first sign of little roaches, you exterminate immediately because they can multiply overnight! But what happens if you don’t know you have it? If it’s hidden and shielded behind something? I didn’t know I had unforgiveness or offense. As a matter of fact, I would have never known it had this one phrase not been said. “Your speech will betray you.”.
I had to really think about that. My mouth has been an ongoing refining and revamping process for YEARS! and still is if I’m being truthful. I have to intentionally watch and take a hold of my tongue and tone all the time! However, over the past 6 months it has definitely become a losing battle. I could see my impatience rearing it’s ugly head and my exhaustion showing up through my sharp words and tone. I could see the “old me” trying to take over the healed me, yet I couldn’t pin point the source. I knew the pressure and stress level in my life was higher then ever before due to circumstances beyond my control, but that was no excuse. At this point in my life I have learned to deal with stress, unpleasant, and hard life issues. This should be routine right? or not!
When those words were spoken, “your speech will betray you” it made me perk up and listen. Our pastor went on to explain. Whatever you are speaking of, is what your heart is consumed with (good or bad). That hit me like a 2×4 between the eyes. You see I had noticed that the majority of my conversations were about how hard this was, or what this was like. I could see my speech changing but I didn’t know how to stop it, or reverse it. I would do my best to veer the subject somewhere else, but it always ended back up there. This last Sunday I realized, my speech had betrayed me to unforgiveness and offense.
Unknown to me I had become bitter, hurt, and angry over the heaviness of the load I was carrying and it revealed itself through my speech. My outside handled it ok(not good, you can ask anyone in my house that! but ok) however my insides were becoming infested with all that grossness of bitterness and resentment and I didn’t even know it. You see offense and unforgiveness doesn’t just come when someone says or does something hurtful or mean. That’s the obvious ones to see. Offense can creep in when someone doesn’t do something and you are left holding the ball. It can come in by humans just being flawed and making mistakes, and you bare the brunt of it. It can so quietly sneak in with words that are not said. You must be careful…offense is a sneaky little sucker that breeds unforgiveness in masses and quickly!
So I urge you, this season, before this year ends, shine the light on your speech and see what scatters! Do a check and balance of what you are talking about in your down time. Who are you talking about? What does it sound like?(tone is everything you know) and Could there be something hidden and nesting in your heart and mind causing offense and unforgiveness and you not even know it? If you don’t address it, it will grow and multiply.
Freedom comes in forgiveness and we are called to be free! We are also called to love, and to do so we must consistently evaluate our hearts, our minds, and our speech to make sure the light is piercing the darkness and love is what is driving our lives!