Keeping Your Cool

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Psa 39:4-5 Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath. Selah

Sometimes we can get so in the middle of a conflict, that we lose sight of “The Big Picture.” Or, stepping back and looking at a perspective that’s bigger than your own for the good of all. We are often encouraged to look at “the bigger picture” in order to help us gain right perspectives and be delivered from narrow or shallow thinking. You’ll see today that God can use it to deliver us from hurtful conflicts such as discussions gone astray.

James 3:8 tells us the tongue is something no man can tame by himself. The tongue can only be tamed by yielding to the help of the Holy Spirit. Today’s Fresh Manna verses actually follow thoughts about the tongue and words spoken. Psa 39:1 starts out by saying, “I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.” This expression of muzzling your mouth is talking about the difficulty of not retorting back and saying things that will draw you where you don’t want to go when you are talking to what may be an unreasonable person. We’ve all been in that kind of position. You think, “I am just going to keep my mouth shut. There is no reasoning with this person,” and yet you suddenly let words you regret fly. “Boom!!!!!”

Biting your tongue is a good plan when you are trying to communicate through something difficult with a person that won’t listen, doesn’t think logical, or won’t hear a perspective beyond their own. You better make sure you aren’t the unreasonable and stubborn person. If you’re not, then remember – just because you determine to keep your mouth shut, doesn’t mean that it’s easy. To the contrary, it often feels impossible. These next two verses reveal that. Psa 39:2-3 But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased. My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue…

Did you see what happened? This person lost control at the end and got drawn into spoken words they didn’t want to say. This person started out managing his tongue from his spirit realm and then caved into his soulish realm – his mind and emotions. God teaches us to yield to the instruction of the Holy Spirit instead of caving into emotionally charged spewing words. If we do, then God can continue to help us gain strength and perspective.

That happened to the psalmist David here. It’s where we see today’s Fresh Manna verse come through. I believe God was trying to get through to David saying, “David, don’t get drawn into this with your mouth. Put this into perspective by looking at the big picture! This is a little deal in the light of all there is and all that I have for you. Don’t sin with your mouth and forfeit the big picture.” Why do I think this is what God was ministering to David? Because of the thoughts and prayer that David then lifted to God in the midst of this verbal conflict. David lifted his heart and prayed, “Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”(Psalm 39:4-5)

Don’t you think that’s a funny thought to be thinking in the midst of conversational turmoil with someone? That’s what is going on here. David is flaming mad at someone and God shows him the big picture to escape the temptation of saying something he’d regret. I can imagine that inward voice of the Spirit of God saying something like, “Relax David. I love you. Life is quick. I want you to walk with me and love life. There are so many things that are so much more important than this! ” “Chill out and relax and pray, I’ll work on this situation for you. Just walk in love. Hear their perspective and then let go of it for now. They think they have won because you are keeping quiet.” “Winning isn’t the key thing. Following after love and peace as you pursue my best and my plan is. Trust me I’ll lead you and I will be working through this situation as you pray. But, don’t lose your peace! “

With David, God used the big picture to help reduce the scope of an inflated battle. He used the big picture to remind him how quick life is and not to forfeit it. It’s good counsel for us all. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, if we stay in faith and if we keep our love walk and care for the person we seem to be battling with, then we can know the Lord is working in our behalf. Love does cover a multitude of sins. Love will bring you out a winner.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

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