About twenty years ago, the LORD told me I looked like a porcupine! Of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, He chose a porcupine! I didn’t feel very flattered by that type of description. However, as He unfolded that little picture, He showed me what He meant and how to change. Do you know how a porcupine uses his quills? Quills are a defense-a protection-a suit of armor. A porcupine can erect those very sharp prickles – some of them nine or 10 inches long – any time he wants! Of course, you could not see my sharp quills, but they were there – my very own self-made tools of defense, my protection and my armor. Let me just say that I was well versed in using them and my mouth wounded a number of people as I was a porcupine in a suit of armor who frequently set my mouth ablaze.
James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze.
As a woman running from love, I would rip you apart with my words if I thought you said the wrong thing to me. If I thought you were getting too close, you would have to by pass an “if-looks-could-kill” glance. Quicker than the eye could see or the heart could tell I would wield my piercing sword. You, then, would be the one apologizing because you would be so confused about who was really at fault! Even I would be deceived in thinking it was your fault for getting too close. I had no idea I was responsible and could actually control how I responded. My past pain rose in my defense and set my mouth ablaze.
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire. It is a world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth, being itself ignited by hell.
Most of my life, my mouth got me into loads of trouble, because I was so filled with pain and so filled with a poor image of myself. I had no idea that God loved me; much less that He had a plan for my life. After all, how could He love me when I felt so horrible about myself? I was so consumed with feeling like dirt, because I thought that was what others thought of me. I was so friendly that I was known as an icebox and my thoughts set my mouth ablaze.
As an adult in my thirties, I remember a very nice man at our church came up to me one day and asked if he could be my friend. At this time, I was in love with Jesus and I was growing in His wonderful passion and love for me. This man asked if we could go get a cup of coffee, and he said he wanted to “get to know me better.” Wow! A man wanted to get to know me. On one hand, I was flattered, but on the other hand I knew it was a major improbability. In my early years of Christianity, I was very focused on Him and His word and really had no use for people. Remember, quills were my defense. As a matter of fact, I was known as an “icebox,” and so the fact that he had the guts to approach me at all said a lot about his character. In that way, I was impressed. However, this was my response – I looked him in the eye and said, “No, I cannot get to know you better, because when I look into your eyes I see the same need I see in my own when I go home and look in the mirror.” He was pierced by my honesty and hurt by my words. I spoke truth, and he knew it, yet there might have been a gentler way to say it. At the time, gentler meant nothing to me, and it was not so much that I did not care much about the feelings of others, but that I had no idea how to be kinder. In addition, I was too busy protecting my own feelings to understand his heart. A year later, he came up to me at church and said how much I had hurt him, but what I had said had been true. He had taken that year to reflect on those words and seek the Lord. He determined not to be so needy. Years later, he is a very happily married man with several children and a beautiful wife who loves him. Praise GOD his response was mature and his relationship with God was stable or else he could have chosen to be wounded for life and live inside a castle of isolation. As I grew into love and love poured into me, I began to meditate on the following scripture and let IT set my mouth ablaze.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure and undefiled. Then, it is peace-loving, courteous, considerate, and gentle. It is willing to yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straight forward, impartial and unfeigned – free from doubts, wavering and insincerity.
As a brand new believer, my mouth was far from undefiled, and I needed an act of God to change me. As I listened more and talked less, I began to get a glimpse of His feelings toward me, and you know what? His wisdom, His heart, His feelings are peace-loving, courteous, considerate, gentle. God Himself began to pour into me the very thing He wanted me to pour out. Oh, the faithfulness of our God to change a willing heart. Have you ever ripped anyone apart in your words or your thoughts either on purpose or by accident? Do you have your own set of quills? Or like me, do you need the Word of God to set your mouth ablaze?
Pray with me
I admit that I may be difficult to get to know. I keep everyone at arm’s length, because of my fears of being known. I say things I shouldn’t say, and I think things I shouldn’t think, just because I refuse to let others get to know me. I am afraid of love and afraid of being loved and afraid of loving. Help me God! I want to change, but I don’t know where to start. So, I begin with You, Lord. Help me change and help me to receive others and love others! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The LORD bless you with special bravery this year as you press forward to know Him better and so that others can know you too. #Bebraver and get out there in your community. LOVE those around you and be #LITNG.
If you read this far you might be interested in a fiction story…kind of like a soap opera really – I released the 3rd part in the Other Side of the Road and am preparing to release FROM the Other Side of the Road – you can follow me there too if you like – its just for fun!! http://donnareinersblogs.wordpress.com/
Send this to friends who need encouragement to be loved.
FIND me on https://www.facebook.com/donna.reiners.9
Follow me on https://twitter.com/donnareiners
Until next time,