“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Monday, March 14, 2011

Seasoned With Salt...

 My pastor was teaching about salt yesterday.

“You are the salt of the earth. 
But if the salt loses its saltiness, 
how can it be made salty again? 
It is no longer good for anything, 
except to be thrown out and trampled by men."  
Matthew 5:13

And I was drawn to this post from April 5th, 2010.  
Praying that my nickname would become "sister sheri salty"...

photography by Anthony Kaetzel

In the host of words shared between women friends, especially amid colliding hormones, sometimes something gets said that leaves the other pondering the old familiar question:  
"What in the world was that supposed to mean?"  

Insecurity will rob us of some of the richest woman-to-woman relationships of our lives.

~excerpts from the book So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore

"Just kidding."

That's what I said to her.  As if it would make up for the words I had just said.  As if "just kidding" would be enough for her to not truly ponder whether or not I really was.  Because isn't it true that there is always a little truth in our teasing?

I hadn't seen her or spoken to her in about a week or two.  So, I teasingly said, "Did I do something wrong?  I haven't heard from you."  The look on her face said it all... she started wondering to herself if not only I had done something wrong... but had she done something wrong that would cause me to question her.

And as if to make it all better... I said "just kidding" but it was too late... I had handed her a one-way ticket to insecurity.  And I knew it.

God was so gracious to bring our paths alongside each other yesterday at church.  And we even had a moment to speak just between the two of us.  And thankfully, we know each other well enough that I could say, "I'm sorry I said that." And she admitted that she had at first mulled over whether or not she had done something wrong... but also reasoned that I had not contacted her during the same time.  Which was so very true.

One of the questions for the So Long, Insecurity discussion group this week is:
Name a couple of ways pertinent to your sphere of life and influence that you could look out for your own gender in our battle with insecurities. In other words, how can you (not others but you in particular) start becoming part of the solution in your female relationships rather than default into part of the problem. No condemnation here. Goodness knows, we’ve all been both. Our challenge is to learn to be deliberate. How are you prepared to do that?
And I realized that in my insecurity of "jokingly" asking my dear sister why she hadn't contacted me... I defaulted into part of the problem.  I not-so-graciously allowed my insecurity to become contagious... and it was viral!

And in apologizing to my friend, I thanked the Lord that He had very clearly given me an example of how dealing with my insecurities can enable someone else's.  And that with a little forethought I might have reasoned that we had both been busy through the week of Spring Break... and that I shared in the responsibility of the communication... or lack thereof.

And so in my desire to be part of the solution... learning to be deliberate in making my security contagious... I have decided to ban "just kidding" from my vocabulary.  No excuses.  I love you all too much to be pushing your head under water... when you are already drowning.

But please realize... if I am quiet around you... and appear to be struggling with words... it is because I am making a conscious decision to not just fill the emptiness with words... words that could end up... even unintentionally... being hurtful.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, 
seasoned with salt, 
so that you may know how to answer everyone.  
Colossians 4:6

So, when you are waiting for me to share my words of wisdom... I may just be swishing a little salt around in my mouth... and praying that my words bring encouragement.  It may take a while for me to get there... but hey, you are worth it!


Hart Leap Isaiah 35:6 said...

Wow. are we all dealing with the effects of our comments.
and Peter not knowing what to say....said..
I won't relate what happened to me last night but I am glad to report God took a disastrous situation and brought good out of it....as He always does...
and one more...the law of kindness is on her tongue...may it be Lord,let it be.....

elizabeth embracing life said...

So refreshing is are your words. I use to feel insecure when I would have amazing women in my home, and then rarely got invites to theirs. I asked God to show me what is I am doing that is causing this, because these were women that continued to come into my space.

That very week God gave courage to a young woman to speak with me about this very topic. She called me up to ask if we might have coffee and I accepted. She then shared that she is not an entertainer. She that I make it look easy which only makes her more insecure. She shared her heart of growing up in a home where they NEVER had company, and yet it was her hearts desire.

Wow!!!!! Her story is often the story of many. It's not that it's an insecurity, but rather it's not their thing to have others in their home. It is my thing, and God gives me heaps of energy to continue.

I did come alongside this dear friend and together we put on a dinner party in her home.

Cynthia said...

Amazing God, amazing you. Thank you for taking yesterdays message and "pumping up the volume" for me. The light illuminated my heart so brightly all I could do was rejoice and repent. Only God can cause "the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts to be acceptable in His sight" and though we long for Him with our whole heart and minds and even souls, we do fall short of His glory. Thank God for His Amazing Grace and the encouragement of our sisters....what often separates the sheep from the wolves is simply that the wolves are wounded. I desire to be used to heal, never to wound and by keeping His salt on my lips I can do that. Thank you for sharpening today.xoxo

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

"That's what I said to her. As if it would make up for the words I had just said. As if "just kidding" would be enough for her to not truly ponder whether or not I really was. Because isn't it true that there is always a little truth in our teasing?"

How many times, sister, have I been guilty of the "just kidding" syndrome, never realizing (at least in the moment in was spoken) that I could be setting someone up for a terrible fall in the his/her spirit. I don't use it often, and normally only with people whom I know very well, but still...

this really has me thinking.

Better to keep silent, Elaine, rather than hurt a sensitive soul!

So I will pray for a consecrated mouth this week and in the days to come. May they always be seasoned according to the Jesus I hold in my heart.