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Zip it


"If you don't have anything nice to say....", you know the rest. Did your parents ever speak this over you? As children we were often quick to "tattle" when someone wronged us, or made us feel badly. In my home as children, we were also taught that running to our parents to tell of this wrong was not always the appropriate answer. My sister and I fought like most siblings growing up and we sometimes got physical. When this happened our parents really only wanted an account of the incident if it resulted in noticeable harm or injury. By the time we got to tell of our fights or squabbles, the story would become bedazzled to add a little drama to the situation if we thought things would end in our favor. As a result, words would be said that couldn't be taken back, toothpaste words....they don't go back in the tube. Nice words were then lost in the shuffle of trying to right the wrong. How often as adults do we find ourselves backed into a corner, pressed upon, or simply feeling insulted or offended? And out of those times how many of them are we trying to find the defense tactic to "get back at" whomever put us in that state of mind?


Jesus is our perfect example of what we are to do when we find ourselves feeling like a victim, for lack of a better word. On the night Jesus was betrayed he was reclined at a table with his disciples. They were sharing a meal and Jesus was telling them of what was to happen to him the next day. He could have bedazzled his telling just like we often do. But instead Jesus told of the prophecy of his impending death, but did not use any foul or derogatory language.


He got up from prayer, went back to the disciples and found them asleep, drugged by grief. He said, “What business do you have sleeping? Get up. Pray so you won’t give in to temptation.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than a crowd showed up, Judas, the one from the Twelve, in the lead. He came right up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus said, “Judas, you would betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” When those with him saw what was happening, they said, “Master, shall we fight?” One of them took a swing at the Chief Priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. Jesus said, “Let them be. Even in this.” Then, touching the servant’s ear, he healed him. Jesus spoke to those who had come—high priests, Temple police, religion leaders: “What is this, jumping me with swords and clubs as if I were a dangerous criminal? Day after day I’ve been with you in the Temple and you’ve not so much as lifted a hand against me. But do it your way—it’s a dark night, a dark hour.” Luke 22:45-53 MSG


Jesus seemed put off by those carrying out this act, but notice his words. He did not insult them, he did not call them names or belittle them. My goodness, he healed Judas even after his obvious and blatant betrayal. No toothpaste words, just the Son of God being his gentle forgiving self as we all know him in our hearts to be. He learned to "zip it" when it mattered. We read in 2 Corinthians 10:5; ...and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Verse 4 says; The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. Paul wrote these words in 2 Corinthians, I particularly like his approach to defending his ministry. If we learn to "take captive every thought" perhaps we won't spew toothpaste words, making ourselves vulnerable to the snares that we are not being obedient to Christ when we are pressed upon. Paul may have at one point been on the side of Jesus mockers, but his physical encounter with Jesus changed his heart forever and thus led Paul to contribute most of the writings of the New Testament. Jesus blood shed began a New Covenant and changed lives forever.

**The New Covenant is the promise that God makes with mankind that He will forgive sin and restore communion with those whose hearts believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant, and His death on the cross is the basis of the promise. He defeated death by His resurrection and restored life for those who believe in Him.** (Christianity.com)


May we all learn to zip it, take all unholy thoughts captive and not let toothpaste words become our language of choice when we are backed into a corner we don't want to be in. Instead I pray we become people who choose to take the road that leads to Jesus and be strong in our faith that He is our salvation from a life of sin.



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