Using My Jabber Box For God's Work
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Using My Jabber Box For God's Work

I embrace the characteristic others might see no value in.

Using My Jabber Box For God's Work
Carlisle Wildcats

A few nights ago, well past midnight, I was passionately rattling off a story, which I found particularly humorous, at a considerably high velocity. At the completion of my story, I realized I had again exhausted my new friends as they tried to process the speedy gibberish I had just spewed. After an awkward silence, my new friend muttered, “I don’t think you breathed once during that entire spiel.” Upon considering it, I realized I hadn’t. While my friends sat in amazement at the rate which the words spilled out of my mouth with such ease, I just laughed and said, “My lungs are very strong after all of my years talking nonstop.” But oh boy, if they thought that was a lot, wait until they spend more time with me; they will find themselves wondering if I ever shut up. While some may consider my tendency to talk so much a weakness, I am starting to grasp that through God, I can make it a strength.

Shocking as it may be, as a youngster, I considered myself a shy person around my peers. Although, to my family and close friends, it probably seemed as if the only time I ever stopped talking was when I was asleep (which wasn’t entirely true either, because many people observed me talking in my sleep as well). Anyways, as I started to develop into my middle school and teenage years, I was never timid about having a conversation or public speaking. In fact, while my peers were shifting uncomfortably in their seats, dreading their turn to present their speech to the class, I was the annoying girl who was anxious to share what I had to say with my classmates. Hence, it wasn’t uncommon for people to refer to me as a jabber box.

I am always talking, even when I'm receiving an award in front of my whole high school.

Fast forward a few years and I’m a freshman in college, learning the ropes and meeting numerous of friends. But, I find that I prefer to surround myself with those who will not only let me talk, but also pay attention to what I have to say. While studying the first chapter of James in a bible study, a new friend of my noted how when I talked, I seemed to be in a sort of “zone.” That is, I start to say what I want to say and focus on this point until I can clearly articulate that point to others. During the bible study, I was obviously talking about such things that God finds honorable. But in most instances, especially in college, it is extremely easy to start talking about what everyone else is talking about. When I surround myself with people who are focused on the world and not on the Word, conversation starts to segue into areas where it is altogether too easy to dishonor God with my speech.

In James 3:4-6 we can see how influential of a tool our tongues can be in either tearing down the kingdom of God, or building it up. It says:

“Or takes ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell,” (NIV).

The devil uses our speech to perverse our minds and souls away from the righteousness of God. When I start to seek the approval of the world by choosing words that are not pleasing in His sight, I am steering my heart away from God, and my actions are likely to follow suit. Instead of falling for this trap, I want to direct my speech in the direction Jesus would approve of, such as: being positive, showing concern and compassion for others, not cursing, using a joyful tone, and incorporating the Word of God in subtle but also direct ways; as to not be pushy, but also to allow my discipleship to Jesus be evident to others.

Another important consideration I need to make more regularly is that yes, God has blessed me with the talent and confidence to speak, but I need to also be more willing to listen to what He has to say to me through others. According to Proverbs 17:28,

“Even fools are though wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues,” (NIV).

Also, James 1:19,

“My dear brothers and sister, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry,” (NIV).

I do not hold all the wisdom in the universe, only God does. I believe God disperses his wisdom through others, so if I never shut up long enough to hear what others feel inclined to speak, I will be missing out on a great deal of wisdom I have not yet grasped. Not only do I need to practice controlling my tongue, I also need to employ my ears and heart to become more receptive to what others have to share with me.

My tongue is a tool to build or to destroy. It is solely a personal choice what I choose to do with this part of my body. I want to use it to steer my thoughts and actions in the direction which leads to Jesus. Also, I need to open my ears; when I consider the speech of others, especially when I am not knowledgeable on the topic, this is a great opportunity for me to learn and expand my wisdom. Finally, I embrace even the characteristics others might see no value in, because the One who created me knew exactly what he was doing when (oops!) he sprinkled a little too much jabber box into my unformed body.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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