Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Sighing and Other Subtle Forms of Communication
I have had an on-going battle with my tongue for most of my life. It's been much too witty for its own good. It often seems to have a mind of its own causing me great embarrassment when I have the leisure to mull over exactly what I've said. It got far too much use when my children were growing up. It's a wonder they didn't all go deaf. It also has a tendency to outpace my poor husband's tongue giving it very little chance when push comes to shove.
So....I have been working on it. I've looked up many scripture verses (boy - are there a lot of verses on this particular subject!) and prayed for wisdom and discernment. One of the verses I've been focusing on is James 1:10, "Understanding this my dear brothers and sisters. You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry." I am trying, with God's help, to be more of a listener than a talker.
I feel as though I've made a bit of progress. I really am learning to listen more and talk less. I was feeling a bit proud of myself (a sure sign of trouble up ahead), when the Lord did a little "talking" of His own to my heart. It went something like this:
God - You're doing better with the talking thing Linda, but I've noticed a tendency to sigh heavily when you aren't pleased with the way things are going. And those facial expressions - your face says everything your tongue isn't.
Me - But Father, I've been so much better about the talking. I don't say half the things I'd like to say. And I'm listening and not interrupting much at all. You know how much trouble I've had with that one.
God - Yes child, there has been real growth. However, you are substituting those long, dramatic sighs and raised eyebrows for the words. And the message comes across loud and clear.
Me - Forgive me Father, I know it's true. I sigh loud enough for my husband to ask what's wrong - and if he doesn't ask I at least know he's gotten the message. And the faces - I know I have one of those "easy to read" faces. Hard not to know exactly what I'm thinking.
God - I have found that the most important thing to change is the heart. Let's work on a real heart change and all the rest will follow. Listen to others in a way you'd like to be heard. Respond in the same way. It is My desire that your words, and your outward expressions, edify and glorify.
Me - Change my heart Lord. I really do want to be all that You would have me be.