“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32 NKJV)
Whenever we hear foul-mouthed conversations in which every other word is profanity, we know Holy Spirit is not governing the person using the profanity. Whenever we see the end results of raging tempers–violence and death–we know Holy Spirit is not governing the person or persons involved. And usually, when one person demonstrates a lack of self-control, they engage or ignite the same type of reaction in others. The problem–people are too reliant upon their own self-control instead of allowing Holy Spirit to control what they say and do.
Submitting our thought-life and our tongues to Holy Spirit is not easy, but it is definitely a better path to take than depending upon our ability to control anything. What does it mean to submit our thought-life? It means that we stop thinking the thoughts that lead us astray. If the enemy tries to plant a thought in our minds that is not honoring God, we submit our response to Holy Spirit and allow Him to replace those thoughts with thoughts of righteousness.
Since most of us are fighting a constant battle with self-control, we are yet a work-in-progress. We have buttons that can be pushed and when we allow others to push them, we forget who we are and whose we are–to let others know, we are not a doormat. But do we really have to let others know anything other than we belong to God?
When we’re attacked–verbally–we don’t need to respond, but under stressful situations when frustration and agitation get in the way, we engage and the heat rises, sparking fires that sometimes rage out of control.
When we’re attacked–physically–we have a right to defend ourselves (though some would argue this) and our families. We do not have a right to instigate foolishness that embroils others into “never-ending feuds” that do nothing but create hostile environments for all. This is especially true for kids who tend to get caught up in stupidity. If a brother or sister starts a fight with someone else–let them handle on their own. If more than one person attacks a sibling, then by all means, we should do our best to protect them.
However, when people do stupid–no matter who it is–family, friends and neighbors should stay out of the fray. I’ve seen entire neighborhoods destroyed because of stupid people who thought they had a right to treat people any way they wanted to treat them and then expect no response by those who are harmed. Those attacked call in reinforcements to counter the action and the feud mushrooms–out of control until someone ends up dead.
When Holy Spirit is “allowed” to control our thoughts–we don’t think stupid-we think pleasing God. When our thought-life is controlled by Holy Spirit, then our tongues speak those things that build, encourage, and edify others. But Holy Spirit has to be allowed to control–He will not force us to do anything, and will allow us to think, say, or do anything we want to do. Of course when we do things that grieve Him, most of us know we need to repent, back up and give Him control so we don’t bring shame upon ourselves and displease God.
Life would be so much better for everyone, all over the world, if we would just allow Holy Spirit to be in control of our lives.
I know how easy it is for true born again Christians to lash back at someone screaming in their face…because I did just that twice in one year, because I had taken back control from the Holy Spirit sometime towards the end of the first 7 years after my salvation…
Jesus tells us to love even our enemies… This is impossible, without the full power of the Holy Spirit helping us to control our temper, and to help us replace our temptations to sin with thoughts that would be pleasing to the Lord…
I know I have mentioned this before…but for me it all boils down to spending much time in the Word (the sword of the Spirit), where we learn about and put on the other 5 pieces of God’s spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-20)… The other part to defeat Satan and our own carnal flesh (once we are fully clad with the armor of light, Jesus Christ), is our willful submission to God (James 4:7-8), where we get out of our own way…think Jesus in every situation…and allow the Holy Spirit to control our actions, our speech, and basically our every though… Great post !!
Blessings in Christ, bruce
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Thanks, Bruce! I’m really trying hard to give Him complete control, but every once in a while, a button gets pushed and leaves me sad at my reaction. I’m still a work-in-progress, yielded to Him, most of the time :).
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