How’s the fruit?

We were running late. The baby was screaming though his diaper was clean and he was freshly nursed, shoelaces were needing to be tied, one child was still in the shower, dinner plates were strewn all over the kitchen with some still on the table, and my hair still up in the disheveled knot on the top of my head that had kept it out of my face during the early morning garage sale we held and the 2 soccer games we played in (well, I cheered at) immediately after. One child yelled from the other room how he couldn’t find the matching shoe, another was digging in the basket of clean clothes that had sat in the living room corner all week trying to find socks, while one more ignored every effort to insist he get ready quickly. And the phone kept incessantly ringing.

It was then, in the midst of the mounting pressure and decibel level in my house, that I completely lost it. Yes, I opened my mouth and started to let my stress and frustration – we were leaving for a wedding that was a nearly 20 minute drive away exactly at the start time – spill out all over everyone. Words tumbled out in an elevated volume. I don’t even really remember what it was I said, but the tightness in my chest shamefully recalls the angst in which I said it. Hurt feelings, sullen faces, and screams not stopping from the baby, then the realization that I had only made things worse by opening my mouth.

So many times it is just so much better to remain quiet in the midst of the storm.

Tears spilling down my cheeks, I drove in a completely quiet car. No one else dared speak after the tongue-lashing I had given as we rushed out the door. I exhaled loudly. “I am sorry for my impatience with you and for snapping at everyone. I am sorry. Would you please forgive Mommy?”

I have the tendency, as some of you may as well, to use too many words. Words said in frustration. Words said out of boredom. Words said to make myself look better by making others look bad. Words defending myself when I feel mistreated. Words, words, words, words.

Too. many. words.

Often as I lay in bed at night and think back over the day, I can pick out specific things I wish I would have said differently or sometimes not at all. Sometimes I had the opportunity to humble myself and apologize. Other times I lay there wishing I would have just let go of my pride and admitted that the way I used my mouth was wrong.

Did you know the Bible compares our words to fruit? What words do is reveal where our hearts are at – for me, sometimes that is a scary revelation!

“For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” Luke 6:44-45

My mouth is like a doorway to let out the the product of what is going on inside of me. Have I been dealing with the pain in my heart and taking it to the Lord? Or have I been stuffing and holding onto hurt feelings, disappointment, anger, or other things that really aren’t mine to carry on my own? Have I spent time talking to Him and letting His Word wash over me and make me clean, or am I grasping to control of my own life and struggling with fear?

I desire to have good fruit in my life. If my words are the fruit of what is going on inside of me, then I am realizing that I need to lean into the mercy of Jesus more and open up my mouth less. I want to be known for my mouth bringing praise to my Savior and filling others with courage to follow Him. I want to have love overflow from me, not words that cut and wound and tear down.

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

Our words mean more than we often realize in the moment. I want to purpose my heart once again to asking the Holy Spirit for grace to control my words.

How is your fruit lately? What do you do when you realize you have blown it with the words from your mouth? Would you take a moment and share your own journey in this area? I would love your feedback as this has been an area I have struggled in lately.

5 Responses to How’s the fruit?
  1. Jennifer
    October 26, 2012 | 6:04 am

    Good morning. WOW! As a mother of three young children I was able to relate so well to your article. I like to consider myself a pretty good person but when I feel pressured or stressed I too tend to lash out using my words from time to time. Thank you for writing this it is good to know that I am not alone. I will continue to pray for God to help me during those times and to use my words to lift my children up especially during times where we may need it most. I also want to say that for the past week I have been looking for blogs of faith and devotions to read on a daily basis to help me strengthen my relationship with our lord. I am so happy I have stumbled on your website and I look forward to more readings. Thank you again and have a great day.

    • Charis
      October 31, 2012 | 11:27 am

      jennifer, i am so glad my weakness can encourage you on your own journey of following God. i think it is in the times when we can acknowledge our weakness in following the Lord that His mercy and sacrifice for us is most valuable to our hearts. be filled with courage!

  2. Laura Rath
    October 26, 2012 | 12:52 pm

    Hi Charis,
    When I’ve blown it, I apologize and ask forgiveness. If I’m aware that I’m reaching the point of blowing it, I ask God to hold my tongue &/or give me the words I should speak. However, it’s more often that I’ve already blown it…so I do a lot of apologizing and asking forgiveness. And I keep trying to do better.

    • Charis
      October 31, 2012 | 11:24 am

      thanks for sharing laura. i am right there with you – i hope that i will have the clarity of mind beforehand more often so i too can ask the Holy Spirit for grace to keep quiet.

  3. Gracie
    November 7, 2012 | 11:24 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that that the Lord used this post to lift my head. The very day that you posted this I had gone through a similar struggle. Even though there was repentance, on both sides, I found myself quite discouraged. As I was nursing Zion I came across your post on fb. It was good to remember, I’m not alone. I also remembered my need for Jesus. I so easy slip into wanting control instead of trusting the Lord and asking for help. So along with repentance, I want to remember to ask for the Lords help to walk with compassion and tenderness towards my children and to see them and love them the way Jesus does. What a beautiful journey it is to be a mommy. 🙂