Have you ever gotten up in the morning feeling out of sorts with the world?
Have you ever harbored hostility toward someone, and the slightest irritation caused you to explode?
The story is told of a man who bought a coach ticket on one of the major railways. Unaware that he had walked into a parlor car, he accidentally took someone else's seat.
The conductor, who was checking tickets, scolded him mercilessly. As the man left the car, another passenger asked him, "Say, why didn't you punch that conductor in the nose? Or at least report him to his superiors?"
"Oh no," replied the gentleman, "If a man like that can stand himself all his life, surely I can stand him for two minutes."
Let's face it, most people get angry at times. And often the hostility in our hearts reveals itself through our words and actions. James chapter 3, verses 8 through 12, declares: "No one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Can you pick olives from a fig tree or figs from a grapevine? No, and you can't draw fresh water from a salty pool" (NLT).
Few things are more self-contaminating than poisoned words that spring from the depths of a bitter heart.
May we always remember God's exhortations:
"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many" (Hebrews 12:15, NIV).
"Kind words are like honey -- sweet to the soul and healthy for the body" (Proverbs 16:24).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.