Today, which is Day 30 of 31 of the Slice of Life Writing Challenge by www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com, I am writing my post from my heart as Lisa, not about technology encounters. Rather, my encounter has been with my tongue.
What if your words caused someone to quit? This was the question that my church’s Youth Pastor posed to the congregation last Sunday. He hooked me with his question. His words “What if your words caused someone to quit?” continued to reverberate in my mind all week. He has been working with our middle and high school students on a series called “Speak Life”.
I happen to enjoy Contemporary Christian Music so Toby Mac’s “Speak Life” on the radio plays loudly in my car and on my own children’s playlists. If you haven’t heard it, here’s a You Tube Version with the lyrics:
For the past few years, I have had the following Scripture taped to my bathroom mirror. Sometimes I look at it and feel like I’ve been faithful to it. Other times, not so much. We have to be quick with our ears and slow with our words which allow us to speak life. Here it is:
James 1:19 (New Living Translation)
19 “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
We have immense power by how we use our words. The way I grow as a Christian is to Pray to God, read the Word of God in the Bible and Worship God during corporate worship times like at church on Sunday but also Worship with every breath. Do I honor God with my words or not? If not, then the Holy Spirit convicts me of my error and gives me a choice. Repent or continue to live ignoring that I said what I said and bury my feelings about it. I know that if I don’t deal with my word choices, then my mood is tainted and poisoned, just like the Bible said would happen. I have placed some verses in this blog post to remind me of why I need to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. It is not in my human nature to be like this. As I walk with the Lord Jesus and allow his resurrection power to cleanse my thinking, my words tend to be graceful and humble. I am thankful that although I have the power to choose my words, my Heavenly Father knows that I need help and will help me to stop when I need to stop.
Proverbs 18:21 “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit; you choose. ” (The Message)
James 3: 2-12 (New Living Translation)
2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.
4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.
5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.
6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish,
8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.
10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!
11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water?
12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.
I want my words to inspire. As a wife, parent, daughter, friend, volunteer and teacher, I am presented with opportunities each hour which allow me to choose whether I will allow words of life to flow and energize or words that hinder to poison a relationship. The way I respond to my family and my coworkers has tremendous power to cause them to joyfully carry on or to possibly lose heart and quit. My prayer today is that I would be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. When I do speak, those around me will know the condition of my heart because ultimately, I speak what is in my heart.
Luke 6:45 “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”