James 3:2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.
I know the first part of this verse through repeated practice. Sometimes success is only found through repeated failure. This gives me hope for the second part of that verse as I am one well-oiled machine when it comes to eating shoe leather, or FIMS (Foot-in-Mouth Syndrome). "Hey bro! Um...is that toe-jam in your teeth?" A daily regimen of scriptural floss and spiritual mouthwash can help prevent, or at least help mitigate the effects of such soleful sucking.
Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt 12:34).
So just like in "Resistance Training" we find that our spiritual muscles need to be developed through disciplined exercise. When lifting weights to tone we are taught to do several repititions of smaller weights to the point of failure. There are some great spiritual truths here (I actually heard a sermon on this once), so don't miss the opportunity to be challenged and encouraged in the missing of the mark.
I really felt the past couple of days the Lord wanted me to share this simple message:
Many of you have stumbled. Many of you fallen prey to that sin that so easily besets you. Many of you are discouraged because things don't look like what you had imagined they would at this point in your life. Be encouraged. You are never out of his sight or his reach.
His plans for us are not subject to our ability to screw up. He is perfectly content to operate in us and through us in spite of, and in conjunction with, our - dare I say it? - HUMANITY. Don't forget HE created us in His image and in OUR humanity. He loves you and is proud to call you His own.
Something has become increasingly clear to me about our journey(s): We have permission to be human but no right to try to be God.
The wonderful thing is He loves to make deposits of His Divine nature in us and calls us to be like Him. Cool. He also understands "we all stumble in many ways." Cool. He's not afraid of our weaknesses, but loves it when we bring them to Him and surrender them again on His altar of grace. I'm thinking a few "deep knee bends" might help. And if your neighbor is hurting a bit, maybe a couple of "chin-ups" are in order.
Your comments and feed back are always desired and welcome. TM