Strong personalities run in my family. Like- sprint, actually! For those of us who share in that type of persona, it is easy to get caught up in sharing our thoughts and opinions without regard to who we are speaking to in the moment, as we may be too intent on just spitting out what we are thinking without actually thinking at all. Our passion for what we are trying to get across overtakes us and it isn’t usually something that even needs to be said. When that occurs, that is the flesh in us. Christ in us looks completely different- it is a checking of the Holy Spirit allowing for an accountability that causes us to pause and reflect on what we want to get across and are words that are “only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” -Ephesians 4:29b ESV. That is my desire! More rarely do we let the former play out as we did when babes in Christ. Yet there are times when the flesh rears it’s ugly head and we react in its context rather responding in the Spirit. That was me this morning. Speaking just to speak instead of considering the who or the what. In doing so, I realized that I had most likely hurt someone I care a lot about. Unintentionally. But, nonetheless. Isn’t that what we do? Our hearts don’t always intend what our mouths sometimes spit out. Yet, “the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart.” -Barbara Cameron. These moments of failure don’t define us, but these lessons can be a rallying cry! In Christ, we are given the gift of a re-try, as His mercies are new every day! So we call out to our LORD with a cry of repentance and we look towards our fresh start as we choose the Spirit over the flesh. Reiterated in both Matthew (26:41) and Mark (14:38), we are to “watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” There is a popular book called “Me and My Big Mouth” that sits on my shelf at home. I’ve thought many times that I should probably read that… but maybe instead of first reading what someone else says about the very thing the Bible says is untameable, we can go to the Word of God and listen to what His heart says about choosing instead to “watch (pause and reflect) and pray (ask for wisdom) about what needs to come out of our mouths so that instead of the result causing hurt or being offensive, it is good and useful for building others up. That is just one way we can look different from the world to others in our witness for Christ!