I’ve been thinking about what I want to accomplish this year, what goals I might have for myself. The first thought was to start working out, but I quickly put that to rest by remembering that I won’t. I have made lists before of the things I want to do for the year, all kinds of goals that are big and small and most of them never get spoken of or thought of again. But one thing is on my mind for this year, and it’s a thorn in my side I hope I don’t ignore.
The first realization I had of needing to work on this particular thing was during a conversation with my friend/coworker. She mentioned that she couldn’t get a sleeve of tattoos because at her wedding she would wear a strapless dress and her boyfriend’s family is super conservative. I was incredulous.
“I can’t imagine you marrying him when you only ever talk crap about him!”
She told me point blank that that’s what you do with your girlfriends; you talk crap about your boyfriend.
“We never talk about the good things because no one cares, it’s fun to talk about how stupid they are.”
I immediately told her a story about how adorable my boyfriend had been a few days before, to balance it out.
I then went on with work and realized that I do talk crap more often than mentioning the positive things in my relationship, and in many parts of my life. And I realized that it’s not a small issue, it’s a heart issue. What people say effects others and themselves in ways that they don’t expect, and I’m sure that what I say out loud can be detrimental to my own positive view of my relationships and my life.
I started to think about it again after a conversation with my mom about how Jesus told people how serious blasphemy is.
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31&32)
If you need to know everything about this passage and what it means exactly I highly recommend this article which explains much of the intricacies of the passage. In context, Jesus was talking to the Pharisees that were telling people that he was able to perform miracles not because of the Holy Spirit, but because he was possessed by Satan. Even in the bible, people have problems with talking crap when they should keep their mouths shut.
I started thinking about blasphemy and about how the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God would make him feel. The fact of the matter is that we all know what it’s like to have someone talk badly about us behind our backs. Only the blissfully ignorant miss out on the heartbreak of knowing that someone you care about has decided to say something insulting about you to someone else. But God doesn’t even have the chance to turn his back before we start saying whatever we want to about him, good or bad. The creator of the world, the omniscient and all-powerful God, he hears every evil word that comes out of our mouths.
When I was thinking about this I had a very specific memory come up that is the only way I could relate in my own small human way.
I was having dinner with a boyfriend, and we were talking about our relationship. We had been together a few months. He explained to me that if I had told him the night before that I loved him that he would have broken up with me on the spot. I asked why, and he replied,
“Because I don’t love you.”
From there, every time he did anything careless, inconsiderate, rude, selfish, or stupid I just wanted to say,
“I already know you don’t love me, you don’t have to keep trying to prove it.”
It stuck with me. It’s still stuck with me. It’s not the kind of thing that I can hear and forget. It’s not the kind of thing I could imagine saying to someone, ever, and yet it’s something I was told to my face. I don’t know if the moment will ever leave my memory or my heart, of knowing that no matter how nice he was to me, how sweet or kind or funny or committed, he still doesn’t love me.
And yet, Jesus says that every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven, even what we say against the Son of God himself. God can hear us say the worst things, worse than I don’t love you, and still has so much room for forgiveness that he will be able to listen to our intercessor (Jesus) and choose to forget what we have said, what we have done.
My goal for this year is to practice biting my tongue when it comes to talking crap and to remember that if God can choose to forget our sins that I have plenty of room in my heart, that Christ renews daily, to forgive what others might say about or towards me.
Have you discovered any particular places in your heart that God wants you to work on this year? Or have you made a list of goals, like I usually fail to complete? Did you decide on straight up resolutions? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!