Posted on Sep 5, 2020 | 0 comments

WHO ARE YOU?

As you spend this set apart time, this month of Elul (6th month of the Hebrew calendar), examining the patterns of your life that you have woven for yourself, always remember that the Holy One (God) always radiates compassion. His arms are always wide open when you turn away (teshuvah) from those shortcoming and seek refuge in His Light.

Let’s look at just one shortcoming that we, as human beings, all seem to walk in at some point eachbitterness and every day. Offense. Yep….I said it outloud. You either offend, or you are offended. And because of that – no matter which end you find yourself on – it will cause confusion and sadness with a pinch of anger and bitterness thrown in for good measure. The usual culprit for this broad spectrum called OFFENSE is usually rooted in lashon hara – speaking unkindly of others. Basically….well, let’s call it what it is – gossip. Why do we fall into that slimely pit every time it oozes out towards us? Most of us are still simply … well, just immature. Maybe that is why scripture continues to call us ‘children’ instead of adults. Not sure, but sounds pretty accurate I’d say.

Consider this:

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32, NKJV)

Read that one more time. It says PUT IT AWAY FROM YOU! That means that you, yourself, will have to DO something in order to be rid of those thorns in the flesh! The best way that comes to mind in order to put it away is to turn away (teshuvah/repentance) and go in a different direction. and the direction is spelled out in the verse – be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another. One can not be kind, tender and forgiving and continue to be filled with bitterness, wrath and trash each other! And why do we turn from our wicked ways? Because YOU were forgiven!

After all this, please remember that the word lashon hara in Hebrew, literally evil speech, has more than just speaking slander or telling lies about someone. It is speaking truth about someone in a hurtful, derogatory way. Not only that, it is the WORST kind of gossip.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; renew in me a resolute spirit.” (Psalm 51:10, CJB)

So this day, and throughout this season, check your tongue. Bring it into submission … for your own sake. You will be required from the One Who is Above All to recount each and ever idle word, how much more will you be held accountable for the despicable utterances against others?

Ask yourself: During this month of Elul, this time for repentance, have you been tempted to speak against anyone? How did that  make you feel? Were you exonerated, or did you feel a bit ‘dirty’?

Exercise for the day: Don’t let a day go by without examining yourself! Make the most of this opportunity to draw closer to your Maker and to walk more closely in His footsteps! Return to your divine mission and remember to continue reciting Psalm 27!

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