Have you ever heard of word vomit? Someone says something to you that triggers a churning in the pit of your stomach that you can't ignore. You feel the words coming up and before you know it they're out. Right there in the open for the whole world to hear. You can't choke it down now because the words have already been spewed and the damage is done. You're embarrassed that you couldn't suppress them and ashamed of the words that you thought would make you feel so much better after they came out. And even though you're sort of relieved, the after taste is just plain bitter. Yep. That's word vomit. It has happened to me before. Too many times. I remember when Devin and I first got married. That first year was rough figuring one another out and learning with every passing day just how fundamentally different we are. And getting married young just added fuel to the fire because we were both still childlike in so many ways when we started dating at seventeen and even still when we were married at twenty. Jealousy used to be a huge issue for us because I was not at the place I am right now in my walk with the Lord and we were both insecure. I had a mouth like a machine gun when the jealousy monster inside of me was stirred. My mouth was my weapon of choice and I could have probably taken down Rocky Balboa with the jabs that flew out of it when I got mad at my husband. It's a wonder either one of us survived because I didn't have a come-to-Jesus moment until a year later and that was a long year of flaming word throwing. And when I say come-to-Jesus I mean that literally. I hit my knees before God and begged for a pure heart and a mouth that only spoke God honoring words. I was saved, but I wasn't as close to God as I should have been. Honoring God with my words wasn't even on my radar up until that point and alot of damage was done back then that could've been avoided if my heart had been in the right place. So I guess what I'm saying is, taste your words before you spit them out. Believe me, I've been on the receiving end of harsh words and far too many times I've been the one throwing them around...and hurling insults never feels good no matter which end you are on. You know the saying "A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret" Yeah, well I needed a gigantic poster with those very words glued to my bedroom ceiling in my early twenties to stare at every morning before my mouth muttered a single word. Luke 6:45 says "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart...for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Ever since I started praying for God to purify my heart to the point where there is not an ounce of sinfulness left in it, so that every word that flows from my lips pleases and glorifies Him...I've changed. Guess what? I still fail. But I never stop praying that prayer and with every day that passes, I get better at shutting up and letting the spirit lead me with the right words even when I'm tempted with the wrong ones. And I know this because I've been through things over the past year that twenty year old Kelsey would've completely embarrassed herself over. I'm talking word vomit would have been wall-to-wall and a lot of people would be hurting even more deeply than they already are because of it. All the glory to God that I'm no longer the person I used to be. I have so far left to go but His grace carries me the whole way.
(If you're wondering where this is all coming from, it's inspired by a book I just started reading called Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman. It's a completely necessary read for everyone. I promise.)