In James 3:5-12, we are reminded how the tongue, though physically small compared with other members of the body, has the potential to level a forest as if it were fire. Essentially, when we are not careful to think before we speak, we can cause a lot of damage.

Also, if we don’t think of the impact our words have on those around us including family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers, we run the risk of creating a toxic domino effect with one spark.   So contrary to popular opinion, sticks and stones may break bones, but words can hurt just as much.

So I’ve got a question for you.  “What are your kids learning from your words? In public? In private?

The phrases, “She gets that from her momma” or “He’s just like his daddy,” have been used for years and will likely be used for years to come when the inevitable comparison is made between a parent and a child. As endearing as these phrases could be when referencing one’s likeness, the sentiment behind the comments are usually far from positive.

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That said, it is important for us as Christians to be extremely careful of the things we release into the atmosphere. I haven’t always been so careful.  I thought I’d been doing pretty good lately…well, at least the last few weeks or so only to be bombarded with an “oops, I had done it over and over again hadn’t I?

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What a difference a day makes!

Well, yesterday, after church I was in a great mood. The sun was out and it was a lovely 68 degrees in January!  Regardless, the beautiful weather didn’t curb my kids’ desire to argue though.  This constant debating seemed to be their new norm.  I say new, but I suppose it’s been a constant competition between them for at least three years.  I have learned to just tune it out somewhat.

The thing is that while they debate often, they had only recently begun doing so in public.  This struck me so I just asked, “I’m just wondering did you all learn anything about love, forgiveness, or compromise in church today?  I mean you all just came out the door and you all are arguing like nothing happened.”  I said it calmly to which my son replied, “I wonder the same about you all the time.”

Shut Down!!!

The pride of my past would have easily made me set him straight, but in all honesty he’d set me straight and he didn’t do it disrespectfully.  He was just stating his thoughts…His truth…What He knew of me in times past behind closed doors…my short temper and the anger because I couldn’t cope with the stress of single motherhood…not to mention the issues with unforgiveness I’d held onto for so long…

Well, this morning Joyce Meyer’s broadcast set my mind further on edge because I knew that I had been grieving the Holy Spirit by acting one way at church and in public while flipping the script at home….yet as quickly as I almost condemned myself for mistakes I’d made…I was reminded of Romans 7:21-25.

I know that I have a long way to go in re-teaching my children the ways that they should go, but I’m thankful God allowed me to dig up the bitter roots of my past so I can start leading by example in public and in private from now on.

©2015 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.