Wielding My Sword Tongue Like a Drunken Samurai (Apologies)

I apologize.

I’m coming to the adult realization that if you have personally known me for any significant time at all, then I have probably hurt you in some way with my words (unintentionally I assure you).

In my attempts to appear witty, I can come off as rather snarky. I’m pretty sure people who first meet me have very little clue or context of how to take such poorly formed daggers. I know this because I’ve been bluntly told as much. I once had the opportunity to speak on the holiness of God (Isaiah 6) at my church during the Sunday morning service. One lady friend of the family, a passionate prayer warrior, came to me afterwards with positive feedback. She concluded her gratitude for the message with, “I didn’t know you had it in you…I always thought you were just a punk.” We laughed about it then, but I knew there was some truth in her words.

I wonder how many gospel barriers I’ve constructed with my sharp tongue. And I am proof positive the pithy nature of social media only exacerbates this problem for me.

Such an issue is just a sign of immaturity and undiscipline on my part. It probably comes out of a deep-seated desire to be liked and appear funny to others. To really want to contribute in some way to a given social situation or relationship. I know such an insatiable desire can be relentless and quite insensitive to the spiritual needs of others.

Christianity doesn’t need any Tosh.O impersonators.

Even worse, sometimes I get a twisted satisfaction from making others feel socially awkward. I’m finding what I would laugh at in the movies doesn’t necessarily need to translate into my real world interactions. In reality, I tear others down a little for the ungodly purpose of building myself up.

Fatherhood (and I hope the Holy Spirit) is toning down this natural disposition in me. I see the dire need my two young sons have within them for words of affirmation. Every “Great Job!”, “You’re strong!” “I think you’re awesome!” is soaked up by my three-year old, Josiah, like water into a sponge. Josiah’s moldable and sensitive little psyche is coming to terms with his father’s imperfect love for him, and as a result will set the foundation in his mind for his heavenly Father’s perfect love for him.

As Douglas Wilson says, “Father’s, you are never not speaking about the Heavenly Father to your children. You can never turn that responsibility off.”

With all my relationships, familial and otherwise, the shocking words of Proverbs 18:21 resonates with me:

“The power of life and death is in the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Word-Faith twistings aside, what a weighty and mysterious privilege we have with the very next words that may exit our mouths! If “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” and Matt 5:22 were considered before we uttered the next word our message would be more salty and our recipients would be more blessed. The sheer scope of the biblical exhortation regarding our words is staggering and convicting: John 3:10, Matthew 12:36, Eph 4:15, 29, Colossians 4:6 and more are all a formidable dropkick to the undisciplined wayward tongue.

If I had a manuscript of every word I spoke or typed throughout the day I’m afraid it would look less like those of a disciplined war-time soldier in battle, and more like those of peace time drunken sailor on leave.

Thank God for His grace that not only forgives the sinful speech, but also empowers the speaker to go on and speak better words of truth in love.

So again, I apologize to you if I have ever been too sharp or sarcastic in my conversation (face to face or screen to screen) with you. I’m learning slowly how to edify with words instead of using them as a destructive idle jest. Thank you for allowing me to speak a little in to your life through whatever medium we may interact.

Peace and grace always.

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

15 thoughts on “Wielding My Sword Tongue Like a Drunken Samurai (Apologies)”

  1. Dear Bryan, You sound like you are condemning yourself. I would hope at worst and yet above self condemnation that this the misery that the enemy pours on us for our boils in the glaze. You are called to be perfect brother like your Father in Heaven and it comes with a calculable cost and that does include the acceptance of the world and even your own sons. We are nor perfect over night and Jesus clearly showed that He was made perfect through suffering and rejection. In my walk I have often found the Lord that He may be percieved as sarcastic and I am thankfull to say those sarcasms bring me so much joy. But rudness is not alongside genuine sarcasm. Its what the dull heart needs at times, a dose of deathly wit. If you are under such pressure as to speak through sarcasm that does not mean you are at fault. One needs to turn to the Lord and not worry about losing those around you for a time all one should be concerned with is Him and the rest will follow. One is in false hope if one thinks ones son will find the Lord through ones own shortcomings He does not glorify Himself on your weaknesses as someone better, that my friend is a carnal foolery. One will find the Lord if the Lord so pleases for one to find Him.

    1. Thanks for the reply Stephen. I am afraid if one only knows me through this blog (as you do) then they don’t really know me very well. I know there is no condemnation in Christ. I’m just attempting to be gut level honest about a particular weakness of mine. That attempt may have failed. But on the basis of the work and person of Christ I know I am forgiven, clean, acceptable and perfect. This is just a grappling with the continual sanctification process I’m sharing, and I hope this awareness of sin is a Holy Spirit wrought work in me(John 16:8). I certainly believe in the sovereignty of God in salvation, my son’s including, but if you don’t think father’s make a massive impact on their children’s spiritual life then I believe you are denying the very fabric of the family God has instituted. God can glorify Himself in whichever way he pleases, including in my weaknesses, brother.

  2. Ps To amplifie a point; whether the world or family accepts one or not, should never come between one and the Good Lord. Satan would only be too happy for that little idol to be enshrined.

  3. I forgive you!!!! 🙂 I know that was prolly hard to write because you were thinking about your poor sis, but I still love you!

  4. I can certainly share in this with you. I find great comfort in the truth that God is going to save those whom he calls regardless of my efforts. However that is not going to stop me from longing towards obedience. I constantly find comfort these days in how paul always seemed to see himself as more and more depraved as he grew in Christ. I recently saw a quote that read something like “Because we are growing we don’t see that we are”. I don’t know that I can make perfect sense of that but as we are sanctified we become more and more in tune with the areas which we are in need of more sanctification. Anyway, find identification with David in that even though he struggled to “get it right”, he was still viewed as a man after God’s own heart. I want to be found struggling to love him more, to obey him more and share him more. I think if ever God lets us feel like we had arrived on earth than we would easily slip in to legalism. In Pilgrims Progress it speaks of Christians burden simply falling off his back when he steps into the presence of God. It’s described as us not asking it to fall off or God commanding it to, but it will just fall off like taking off a backpack.

    Love ya bro!

    1. Great thoughts Kyle! Love you brother!

      Just Iike Paul said in Phill 3 “Not that I have already attained or been perfected, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” In the Christian life there is found greater victory only in greater brokenness. Beautiful paradox.

  5. I can REALLY related to this. Do you think we’re called to “gently instruct” because those who need instruction need it gently so they feel encouraged…or because those of us who like to instruct aren’t normally gentle because we see ourselves as ‘right’? It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately…

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