In Terms We Understand

God is notorious for giving us analogies – His word in terms we can understand. Jesus taught in parables. Paul spoke of athletic events. David’s psalms spoke from his experiences as a shepherd, warrior and fugitive. Hosea married a prostitute to demonstrate God’s love for the spiritually adulterous nation of Israel. James compared the human “tongue” with a forest fire.

Sometimes, He gives us the voice of those around us. Tonight, it was my wife. And though her words may not have been meant to convey God’s desires in my life, in retrospect they did just that.

I had been doing things for my wife to demonstrate my love for her. Things like refilling her drink without being asked. Things like picking up when she spilled something. Things like that without asking for any recompense.

Problem is, I am in a certain location where the prevailing attitude is “SOS” (smart-aleck on steroids). And I picked up on – and followed through quite callously. My lovely wife, for whom I would have endured the most degrading of tasks, was the target of much of my sarcasm.

She pointed it out to me today, and let me know – in a very civil manner – that it hurt her.

Here I thought I had been demonstrating my love for her, but the work of my mouth negated all the works of my hands. Like James said, “It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.”

And, like the people of Israel, I had said one thing with my hands and quite another with my mouth. We discussed the events that led to this as well as my desire to curtail this hurtful activity of which I had been completely unaware. She has forgiven my words and we shall move on.

This little revelation has brought to light the problem I’ve had in my spiritual life of late. My two-faced response to my heavenly father who also loves and forgives me daily. I have found a need to speak with him and seek His forgiveness as well.

I seek to prove my love for God and my wife in all three aspects of my being: word, thought and deed – not just one or the other. For it is only through His love and forgiveness that I can truly find peace.

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