Thursday, January 22, 2009

WHOOPS! Howza 'bout Them Zingers?

***I sent this out to my edevo recipients this week and got an overwhelming response. Apparently, the Lord struck a chord with HIs message. That led me to post it here. If you are interested in having the Lovinthearts.com E-devo sent directly to your inbox, click HERE.
Now! About them Zingers...

Wow, have the zingers been flyin’ like bullets lately. From politics to celebrities to movie scripts, and (come to a screeching halt)—in my own home.
zinger definition from yourdictionary.com:
zinger (ziŋ′ər) noun
SLANG a clever, witty remark or rejoinder
a sharp, caustic, usually critical remark
The thing about zingers is that they almost always start out as funny. They’re so quick that they land smack in the forehead of those listening, causing spontaneous laughter, eyerolls, or even a boomerang zinger right back. But when the smile wrinkles fade, that’s when the words sink in. And often they leave a mark. Whoops. Howza ‘bout them zingers now?

Zingers are nothing new. They’ve been around forever, but they still catch me off guard when they rip around and about my house. Sometimes I’m the one dishin’ em out. Sometimes I catch ‘em mid-air before anyone else hears them. Often they’re zigging and zagging in the name of “just joking” or “just playing” when I’m not even in the room.

This isn’t just the situation in my home, is it? It’s in yours too, many of you have shared with me. It’s in our churches. Our extended families. Our schools. Even in our computers via way of email and status updates (how do they get in there?) We practically need an ear traffic controller just to keep them zingers from crashing during landing. (oh, come on, that was funny).

The Bible gives us the opposite way to live:

1 Peter 3:8-11 (NIV)
“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, ‘Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.”

Or in The Message:
“Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what He’s asked.”

These Scriptures sounds perfect to me—like music to my ears. Then reality hits, and it seems almost impossible to tame the wild beast named ‘Tongue’. His speech has become a way of life, you see. So, once again, it all comes down to Holy-Spirit filled living.

Luke 6:45 says “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks.”

Because the cynical and sarcastic way of speaking permeates our society, it has seeped into our minds and hearts. Then out of the overflow of our hearts, our mouths spill out the same garbage. I guarantee you, no matter where you are, (unless you are kept away from all aspects of life today), if you pay attention, you’ll begin to notice “them zingers.” Notice in that sit-com, news show or movie—the next political rally, that water cooler conversation at work, even at the festive social event—you’ll see the arrows flying. We can’t get away from it completely, but we have the Lord and His Word to turn to for help.

Ask the Lord to make you aware of hurtful words and capture them in mid-air if possible. To be a “zinger-extinguisher,” if you will (my husband says I'm a "zinger zapper!") 2nd Corinthians 10:5 tells us how: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Notice the verse from 1st Peter above is active. It doesn’t say, “Correct everybody and put everyone in their place.” It says to repay with blessing. Turn the conversation to good if at all possible. Ignore it, throwing out a compliment or praise instead. Or if you can’t find something nice to say, maybe the most peaceable thing you could do is change the subject. I’ve had someone do that before in my presence, and it really ministered to me. It corrected me and showed me an example of grace and humility, not to mention courage.

If the situation continues to happen personally speaking, like in your family or with your close friend for example, then it may be time for a side conversation, especially if the person is another Christian. Pray first, then let the Lord speak His words of correction through you.

The evil in this world is a reality, my friends, even the kind that people don’t realize they’re spreading. But the blessing can begin with each one of us, one word at a time, building or tearing down in the process. I say, let it begin with Christ in me.

Dear Lord, Your divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness. You have called us to a life filled with goodness, peace and blessing. WE have access to that power through the Holy Spirit living in us. Forgive us, Lord, for using our words to get a laugh at someone else’s expense or for using them carelessly and thoughtlessly. Help us to use our mouths for building up and for Godly humor, leading us to speak the very words You would use if you were in our shoes. We trust You and choose to follow You, no matter what. In Your name we pray, Amen.



In the Key of HE,

10 friends shared a comment:

Terri Tiffany said...

Thank you for such a good reminder of how our words can hurt!

Denise said...

Amen, those zingers can really hurt. I love you sweetie.

Homesteader in Training said...

Oh man I used to be the zinger queen back in the day. God really put it on my heart to harness my words to others even if I meant them in jest.
Great reminder my friend to just keep my mouth shut sometimes! LOL.
Hugs.
Kim

Patty Wysong said...

So much truth in here. So. much. Thanks for posting this--I missed it as an edevo, and it's one I needed. Need.
Huggles!

Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

OUCH!

Well said, my friend.

Blessings!

Laurie Ann said...

Thanks, LauraLee, for reminding us that zingers leave a mark! I don't hear them much at home since Kristyn has grown and married; however, at work the zingers fly! Thanks for practical solutions for nipping them in the bud.

Yvonne said...

thanks for this, Lalee... yes, words can sting.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Zingers...hmmmmm. With a house full of kids (one in college) and a husband, all of whom possess the gift of gab and humor to boot, we're quite the wordy family. I'm going to pay more attention to the "speak" that's flying around our house today. Do my zingers count since I'm the queen?

Happy weekend to you. Thanks for stopping by and checking in. Would love an update on your ministry oppportunity as time allows.

peace~elaine

Betsy Markman said...

Wow, I'm so quick to snap at my children for the unkind things they say...I'll have to give some thought and prayer to HOW to do something positive instead, while still offering the correction that God's word requires me to give. Good thoughts, Lalee!

JesusRulzMe said...

Psalm 34:8

"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!"

Well, I FINALLY got to come visit you over her sis and I have been so blessed!

Zingers? Oh, I'm so grateful that yes, while we have many "zingers" just a flying around us and through us, the Lord Jesus has given us His word, so that we can see that He alone "tastes" good....making all else (like the zingers) taste really yucky.

Thank you, thank you for sharing this truth today! It is so needed!

I love you dearly sister!
Sunny