Guilty as charged!
Maybe it’s just me, but I rarely find a place where I can really say what I feel. A lot of it is my shyness and timidity on social situations. I can hear the laughing and the “yea, right!”s—but I ask you, “How many of you have seen me in a social situation?” Surely you can see my motivation to teach and write.
However, as a writer and teacher, I really need to be careful. First of all, scripture says I’ll be judged more severely than non-teachers.
James 3:1 esv Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
So, I really want to be in control of what I say. In addition, I really find that it is easy to miss opportunities by offending people—especially Christians. I really don’t know why that is such a problem. One of the fruits of the spirit is to not be easily offended. I usually write it off to personal taste; that I do not like fashion; that I do not like crowds; that I do not like sports; and on & on. It’s more likely that my flesh is really obnoxious.
However, there’s no place for speaking in the flesh
That’s one of the main reasons I do not like the phone or face-to-face meetings. It’s not that my reactions are bad—they’re not thought out. Every time I get off the phone and talk about the conversation I always get, “Why didn’t you ask…” “What are they doing…” I never have an answer. Talking in reaction to interaction is fearful for me because I do not trust my flesh at all. It always gets me in trouble.
What about my call?
Maybe the problem is who I am designed to be. I know the Lord has used me as a prophet—and no one likes prophets. I know that I was trained as an “artist” dealing with getting in touch with my personal vision. I know that I’m creative, in my limited up-tight manner. But this cannot be an excuse to be rude or uncaring or self-centered. I must put down my flesh and walk by the Spirit. Only in the Holy spirit do I have any hope of getting past myself.
I must pull my punches
There is no room for me to allow the flesh free rein at all. My ideal and goal is peace, joy, gentleness, self-control. I have to focus on my audience and seek to hear what they need—what the Lord would have me share, what Jesus wants to say in the situation.
It is always fascinating to watch one of these postings as it develops. So far I have written and tossed a half dozen complete paragraphs and several more sentences. I began with a four/five paragraph stream of consciousness and I think all of that is gone now. The entire point and focus of it has radically changed as I pray and repent to hear better. This is the way it should be. I’m not an apostle or leader. I’m a prophet/teacher. My responsiblility is to be much more careful of what I say. Jesus’ words are really scary to me,
Matthew 12:36-7 esv “… I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
What could be more worrisome to an artist/author who merely tries to be a good steward of the ideas he is given? Before Jesus, I was the arbiter. I was taught in school that good is defined as what I like. What a shock it was to discover absolute truth and its personification [& what a relief]. Now, the Holy spirit has the final say—I hope.