The Curries

The Curries
Keith and Patricia

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

COMMUNICATION: We all need a word-wash

Ernie (not the muppet) was my friend in my first year of college. He was a solid, good guy—the kind of person you want as a friend. He was one of those people who had no guile about him but spoke his mind in trust and openness, often making himself vulnerable for a good-natured jab or maybe a humorous quip by those who were near. Unfortunately, I played that role with Ernie. In what I thought was “just joking,” I often turned his words into a laugh for others who were present. One day, Ernie had enough. He told me—in the middle of our little group—that he was sick and tired of my constant ridicule of him, that he was deeply hurt, and that our friendship was ended. Then he walked away. . .and out of my life.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

It seems that most people have trouble with words. There are a few exceptions, but for most of us, words trip us up. For each of us this happens in different ways. Sometimes we just don’t talk; we’re the “strong silent type,” or at least the silent type. Sometimes we use our deep, naturally loud voices to exert our authority and indicate that we are in control. Sometimes we save our words until we are angry enough and then spew them on those around us. Sometimes we whine and wheedle to get something we want. Too often we use words as weapons on the ones closest to us.

And then, sometimes we get it right and our words bring health and healing and life.

The Bible has a lot to say about words and the mouth and the power of the tongue. When I use the Bible like a mirror and evaluate my words, I simply fall short.
The following verses from Ephesians 5:25-27 challenge me as a husband and father:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church. . .

My words can wash my wife, and family as well, making them radiant! Am I using my words with that in mind? That very possibility intrigues and challenges me. Can I use my words to wash and cleanse and shine and polish the people I love? If that is true, then I have some work to do. And I have a feeling that maybe you do, too.
Let’s agree with the Lord that we will use our words to wash and cleanse, to build, to plant, to encourage, to communicate value, to praise honest effort.
After all, the people in our lives are created for a glorious eternity. C.S. Lewis says, “There are no ordinary people. . .But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” All day long we are helping one another become one of these two things—a horror or a splendor.
Our greatest tools are our words. They can be knives or they can be soothing balm. They contain the power of life or death, health or hurt, joy or pain.

Create radiance in others. Speak life.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

INTEGRITY: Guidance From The Father

I met an impressive young couple very recently. Bright, obviously happy with one another and with their two young daughters, they had come to our school to enroll their girls.

As I always do in those initial parent interviews, I asked why they had decided to enroll their girls at CCS. Right away I realized that this couple was motivated by God’s word. They were living Biblically as much as they possibly could. This Biblical mindset was moving them to consider alternatives that might be the best for their children. This is God’s way:

Parents set the course

for the benefit of the children.

These two elements define a Biblical foundation for how a family works. First, parents make the decisions, set the course, and mark the boundaries. Secondly, the goal of the parents is to help their children. Parents consider their welfare, consider their maturity, and are willing to sacrifice for the sake of the children. Malachi 4 says it this way, “turning the hearts of the fathers toward the children.”

I saw these two elements in this young couple. They were making the decisions for the benefit of their daughters and they were willing to sacrifice to do it.

And there’s more.

The dad responded to my question about enrollment with another facet of walking with God. He said something like this: “As I go about my normal life and business, I really don’t think much about their schooling or about changing what we are currently doing. But in my ‘high times’ with God, this place keeps coming to my mind. I realize that it is God speaking to me.”

“In my high times with God.” Here was young man who took God seriously. In those times when he was sensitive to the Holy Spirit, he sensed an impression in a certain direction. And he was listening!

Parents listen to God’s voice.

There’s still more.

He went on to say that they had called the school early in the year inquiring about openings. At that time, there was a spot for one girl but not the other. When he called back at the end of July, there were openings for both girls. He smiled and said, “Then I knew we had to deal with it. God leads in practical ways.”

Parents walk out their faith in everyday life.

Wow! Their foundation was right. Their sensitivity was right. Their practical application was right. The Bible calls that righteousness.

Meeting that young couple challenged me to check those three areas in my own walk with the Lord. Is my foundation Biblical? Am I being sensitive to the Holy Spirit? Am I walking out my faith in a practical way?