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CMWF Blog

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Welcome to the CMWF Blog! We hope you'll find some encouragement and comfort here through stories of military life and truth from God's Word.


Words, Words, Words

By Mary Parker

 

 

Words. The basis of our language. The focal point of my career as an English teacher and marketing editor. We use them every day. Write. Speak. Post. Text. Tweet. Words are a beautiful gift that can foster communication…or tear relationships apart. But how often do we consider the effect of our words on others, ourselves and our relationship with God?

For me, the answer is not enough. I can usually find the perfectly precise word to punctuate a point, but when my emotions run high, I use hurtful words against others, often in my mind but sometimes aloud. As Jesus demonstrates in Luke 6, words are a direct result of an overflow of emotion. I say things that I don’t mean, often to the people who mean the most to me and are not in the slightest way deserving of such malice. I always regret my thoughts or actions.
My misuse of verbal ammunition has bothered me for a long time. I try to steer away from profanity, but it’s so easy to use and sometimes it just feels cathartic. Although I curb my misuse of words around most people, I save it for the people closest in my life who are bound to forgive me. Sometimes I let inappropriate language slip in a less familiar group of people, and the pangs of guilt nag me into over analysis and self-depreciation.

Last night, God used a Bible study to help me realize two things:
Although I use language inappropriately at times, God does not condemn me for this. I am not lowly or despicable to Him, but a child who keeps foolishly making the same mistake. I accept His tender grace and resolve to do better. Although God loves and forgives me, it is time to deal with this sin issue head on.
In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul, arguably one of the Godliest men to ever live, expresses grappling with sin in a similar way: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me” (7:15-17).

Ultimately, my abuse of language can negatively affect others and definitely affects me. So why would I continue to pursue such momentary pleasure? Although it may feel good to release emotion in the moment, the sensation is fleeting. Ultimately, if it doesn’t bring joy to my life or glory to God, I don’t believe He wants it for me. I remember that God’s ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:9). Because He loves me, He wants good for me and constantly pushes me to make my life better by seeking Him.

With these beliefs in mind, I commit myself, my thoughts and words to glorifying God in all I say and do. Each time I am tempted to speak out in anger or frustration, I will think twice about the impact and purpose of my words, and question whether these articulations benefit my life. Although this will be hard, and I’m certain to stumble along the way, I know that God is reigning grace over me and helping me to pursue Him, happy to see me seeking His strength over my lips.

 

Reflection
Do you have sin habits that secretly bother you? What do you need to do to honestly seek conviction for these actions?
What thoughts, actions or words do you need to commit to God today? What will this process involve?

Prayer

Lord, thank You for Your grace and forgiveness. I fall short in so many ways, and yet, You stil love me. You still choose to work in me and through me. I confess the sin habits in my life, and I ask You to change my heart. Mold me to be more like You through the work of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 


Mary Parker is an Air Force wife who works as a public relations writer. A South Carolina girl at heart, she and her husband have recently relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska. Mary spends her spare time honing exercise and cooking skills, and is a self-proclaimed DIY addict. You can read about how faith and hope shape military family life, and check out Mary's latest projects at her blog, Mary's Mischief.



Forgiven

By Mary Parker

 

Have you ever made a mistake? Inevitably, we have all been wrong in one way or another. What’s often worse than actually being wrong is the humiliation of admitting you were wrong. Although God desires for us to choose the wisest decisions, He also understands we are human. He knows that we will make mistakes before we make them, however, we can rest in His promise that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).


 

I am so thankful that our perfect Father in Heaven never says, “I told you so,” or asks, “Why did you do that? Didn’t you know any better?” He does, however, expect us to confess and repent of our sins (1 John 1:9). In turn, He promises to show us how to make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:6). Confessing our sins and admitting our faults becomes easier when we understand the depths of God’s forgiveness towards us and His love for us.

 

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zepheniah 3:17Zephaniah 3:17 tells us, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” How encouraging and comforting! Not only does our Father forgive us for the mistakes we make, but he protects us and rejoices over us in love. God’s love is so enveloping and unconditional that it can be difficult for the finite, human mind to comprehend and accept.

 

As we grow in our faith, we will grow more thankful for the spirit of conviction versus condemnation. In our thanksgiving, we invite God’s presence into our hearts and lives, creating a constant connection, where we can rest assured that He will hear our requests. As we enter into a season of giving, it’s important to reflect on all that we have been given, in prayer and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). God is always with us, a loving guide ready to lead us back to His path.



Reflection
What is the difference between condemnation and conviction? Why does it matter?
What is God convicting you of today? How can you be obedient?
How does God’s gift of conviction teach us to deal with other people in our lives?

Prayer
Father, thank you for being so gentle and patient with me, even when I make mistakes I should have learned from. Thank you for providing the perfect example of Jesus to show me how I may be a Godly person on this earth. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me so that I may be set free from the bondage of condemnation for my sins, so that I may live a life praising you. Show me how to live for you each and every day of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen
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Mary Parker is an Air Force wife who works as a public relations writer. A South Carolina girl at heart, she and her husband have recently relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska. Mary spends her spare time honing exercise and cooking skills, and is a self-proclaimed DIY addict. You can read about how faith and hope shape military family life, and check out Mary's latest projects at her blog, Mary's Mischief.