I started a new online Bible study today. It is one that I actually had planned on starting around the time Jan had her surgery because the Bible study at church in the fall was going to be held during a weekday morning and I thought it would be too difficult to fit into my schedule. I had actually forgot about this one and have done another one in the interim. Anyway, Lifeway Ministries & Beth Moore offer a few online studies.
This is a Bible study on Galatians. And, on day 1 assignment we spent some time in Act 13. I found this quite interesting: "For reasons we may never know, God entrusted to womankind a most wonderful and terrible gift: the power of influence. This is the foremost quality highlighted in our earliest heritage. Whom did the serpent go when he sought the ruin of Adam and Eve?
Consider the power of feminine influence. God selected us as the bearers of children and, in our society, women assume the greatest role in childrearing. Our day-cares, Mothers Day Outs, schools, and Sunday Schools are over whelmingly staffed with women.
For better or worse, our self esteem has probably been influenced most at the hands - and mouth - of our mother.
How do we use the fearful gift of influence? At its best, it teaches, nurtures, encourages, exhorts, evangelizes and disciples.
At worst, it cripples and kills.
The line between influence and manipulation is extremely fine. Influence is so easy to use, it's frightening. Maybe it's the reason God exhorts us to "gentle and quiet" spirits. We need to think before we speak and act. The warnings in Scripture are not provided because we are so lowly, but because we possess such an awesome gift."
To this date there are times I remember unkind words of people. I'm taking a look within. I don't want to be a person who's words cripple or kill another person(s) spirit. But I do want to have a gentle and quiet spirit.