Penny is beautiful.
She is usually full of love and tenderness for all who come around her, but don't mess with her 'baby' hiding behind her. I've also seen her now and then use her biting jaws to get her man Scout back in line too. I wonder if I'm sometimes like that. All put together on the outside, tender to many, and most of the time pretty good; but catch me at the wrong time when it comes to my babies or my man -- and watch out.
Manure. Penny has a lot of this stuff in her life.
So do you and I.
Manure can stop growth.
We have to work tirelessly to scoop this out of the pasture so the grass can go;
but this same stuff, the manure - Can Be Used.
When it's pitched out, broken down, and spread out in a different form it can be used for GROWING!
The same is true with the pasture where we grow words. Our heart.
We have to actively put away the baggage, the bitterness, the biting tongue, the impatience and anything else that keeps words of life and grace from growing in our pasture.
Matthew 13 talks about a farmer who goes out to scatter his seed. Only the seed that fell on good soil produced a crop! For you city gals -- you might not like to think of this but good soil comes from using that icky manure stuff to make the soil rich and ready for planting.
So when we get bogged down by guilt, frustration, or impatience in our pasture --- we need to look to the manure pile. Break it down. Haul it out. Let God use it.
For when it is spread around and worked into the soil you are ready to plant seeds of life. Words of grace and love and truth. That's why God made our tongue so powerful because it can be used to grow and give life to the hearts and lives of other people (especially those we share the pasture with)!
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21)
In Keep It Shut, Karen Ehman gives us some strategies to use when discerning if our words will add life and grace to those who are receiving them:
1) Trade Places. Imagine you are the receiver.
2) Leave some things unsaid.
3) Temper your tone.
4. Consider your countenance. (Non-verbal is 93% of communication)
5. Believe the best before assuming the worst.
6. Don't get historical.
7. Be a history changer. (Words can change someone's life & path!)
8. Notice the one who least expects to be noticed
9. Choose your timing
The time around here is that for planting. What can you do to get your pasture ready?
From R7 to you --
Be a blessing.
If you missed earlier posts you can download the first four chapters FREE here.Keep It Shut post #1
Keep It Shut post #2