I started writing and thinking here, in order to listen better.
I have been listening to my children's mother and am amazed at some of the things she says. Let me rephrase that ... I am ashamed of the things I say. Over-reactions. Angry accusing words. "How dare you?"s. Words that belittle, discourage and dig gulfs between us. Apologies for words spoken hastily, words that cannot be unsaid. A wise man once illustrated by trying to get us to put toothpaste back in a tube. Words do not go back into mouths unspoken.
Matthew told me today what Jesus had to say about hastily spoken words.
“Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.” Matthew 15:16-20.Simon, a name that means 'one who hears', but some would say it means 'one who obeys'. One who acts on what they hear.
I have recently prayed for ears that really hear. I wasn't counting on hearing my own sin so clearly. The phrases I hear rushing out, in stressed moments, are a word picture of my heart - defiled and desperately needing grace.
I want to listen, to hear and I need the spirit bringing grace to do something about it.