The other night, my family and I were on our way to an event and we could not find the venue.
I began to get irritated when it was clear that we were going to be late.
I hate being late.
Unfortunately for my family, I began to declare my irritation and frustration. Loudly.
My mouth has always gotten me into trouble.
I was so obnoxious when I was a kid that the moms on the street I grew up on called me “The Mouth of Theresa Avenue.”
I didn’t have a problem sharing my opinion (whether people wanted to hear it or not). I never backed down from a fight. I gossiped. I could be critical. I was bossy.
Not a pretty picture, is it?
Yet, when Jesus got hold of me, He began to undertake a major renovation project…which was making my mouth an instrument that would bring glory to Him rather than wreak havoc in the lives of those around me.
He has brought me a long way. So much so that when I recently told the ladies I am privileged to serve with at my church what my childhood nickname was amongst the neighborhood moms, they were all quite shocked. They simply could not imagine it. That is a major praise and proof of the redeeming power of Christ.
However, I am human and I still struggle in this area, as was clearly evident that night.
We did eventually find the venue and although we were late, the program hadn’t started when we took our seats, so we didn’t miss anything after all.
I felt miserable. Why hadn’t I just kept my mouth shut? I apologized to my family, asked Jesus for forgiveness, and was able to enjoy the evening.
The next morning during my quiet time, though, I still felt grieved. I poured out my heart to Jesus, telling Him that I would probably always be dealing with this for the rest of my life. I asked Him, “Am I ever going to be free of this tendency to run my mouth???”
Like a magnet, my eyes were immediately drawn to a book on my bookshelf. It is one of my very favorites: Having A Mary Spirit: Allowing God To Change Us From the Inside Out by Joanna Weaver.
I opened the book and found these words: “Whenever we resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we really are saying no to God and yes to Satan. And each time we do that, hell clamps chains on our souls…Holiness is all about choices. One choice after another. Saying yes to God and no to Satan.” -p. 186-187.
That was incredibly sobering. That night when I chose to complain and stir up strife, I was saying yes to Satan and no to Jesus. One represents death and strife and the other represents life and peace.
Satan delighted in my behavior and Jesus was grieved.
I don’t ever want that to happen again.
So, the next time I hear Jesus’ Spirit whisper a warning signal when I am tempted to say something that is not godly, I will listen and say “YES” to Him…and no to the enemy of my soul.
I will say YES to freedom and NO to bondage.
And I will thank my beautiful Jesus for the fact that He never gives up on me and that His mercies are new every morning.
Who will you say yes to today?