Oh, the aroma.

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Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. – Psalm 34:13-14

We avoid sickness. When an item at the grocery store is recalled or we hear of a friend getting food poisoning from a local restaurant, we avoid the culprits of the disease. If only we were this cautious when it comes to our words. Words may seem fragile and weightless, but the truth is they can harm both the speaker and the listener. Two of the greatest culprits are flattery and gossip.

Flattery is lying: we create empty words that contain only a kernel of truth; we delude the person being flattered, blinding them to reality. We also delude ourselves, hiding our real thoughts and beliefs behind a mask. Gossip may seem harmless because it’s done in secret, but the ideas spread about another person can damage their reputation, opportunities and relationships.

The person we influence most with our negative words is ourselves. If we are not careful, these thoughts and words create a well-worn path in our hearts that lead us to have a bitter and judgmental spirit. The only antidote is God and His Love. It is only as we remember and embrace His generous grace toward us that we can extend it to others. – The Antidote, August 3, from David Jeremiah’s Quest, 2015

Nom, nom, nom. I am grateful for popcorn. It’s amazing how that one extremely hard kernel can become something so addictive, so amazing, so goooooood.

I can walk into a room/theatre/ballpark/carnival/fair/hardware store (thank you, Nuts and Bolts)/plant nursery (thank you Family Tree) and smell popcorn and I pretty much don’t care about anything except getting a large bowl or bag or box and devouring. I don’t care if I’ve just cleaned out a pan full of macaroni and cheese or finished off a quart of chocolate peanut butter ice cream. I don’t care if I am so bloated from overeating at the Chinese buffet. If popcorn smell reaches my nose, my brain says, “Nom, nom, nom…me want popcorn.”

Funny thing how that smell overpowers. Once it enters the nose, there is no stopping. You can’t eat just one piece, you can’t eat just one handful. And in my case, I can’t eat just one small bowl of the addiction.

It’s kind of like what Karissa posted today. “What goes in the mind, lives in the heart.” And I can take that a phrase further tonight. What lives in the heart, comes out of the mouth. You can’t control the urge to unload sadness, or happiness, or anger, or bitterness, or joy, or excitement, or depression. It spreads like that aroma, so that not only the person possessing the “aroma” smells it and is affected, but all in the room have the benefit or the burden of being affected by it, too.

I love how someone very dear to me is always so positive and energetic, no matter the circumstance. They are joyful according to James 1. Their aroma fills a room and changes and affects the atmosphere.

I am not so in love with how someone else very special to me is negative x 5, no matter  the circumstance. There is nothing good about their job, nothing good about this Presidential candidate or that one, nothing good about their church, nothing good about their family members and co-workers, and their words and attitude spread like the smell of burnt popcorn.

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Gossip better left unspoken. Guilty.

Flattery that is inflated and empty. Guilty.

Spreading hatred for Presidential candidates. Guilty.

Unloading negative thoughts about someone and sharing ugly with others who didn’t have a first impression but are now infected with mine. Guilty.

Opinions and beliefs and advice unsolicited and offering judgment. Guilty.

Or…

Love. Joy. Peace. In need of…

Patience. In need of…

Kindness. In need of…

Goodness. Faithfulness. In need of…

Gentleness. Self control. In need of…

And understanding.

And compassion.

 

Jesus…

I am grateful tonight for the conviction I felt today because of words I have spoken. I am grateful that my God loves me anyway and offers generous grace, allowing me to try once again tomorrow, giving me devotions and posts from my daughter and positive people who spur me on and challenge me to be more like Christ.

He opened the doors and windows, let the fresh air in, cleared the burnt popcorn smell out, and tomorrow is a new day to pop a fresh batch of oh, the aroma…

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