Tag Archive | words

Words

James 5:12 – “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”

Why do we feel that we need to use God’s name in vain? Are we trying to verify the intent of our words? Are we trying to confirm our words? Are we trying to sound important? What is it? Why do people think they sound intelligent when using it?

James is reminding us that we need to have honesty and integrity and truthfulness in our words. We shouldn’t have to verify or solidify what we are saying by invoking God’s holy name. No, our words should stand alone. 

But they don’t. Too often we tell that little white lie or stretch the truth just a bit or leave out a few of the details. In other words, we hide the truth and smother our honesty in hopes to make ourself look just a bit better. 

I think we all are guilty of this from time to time. And shame on us for that being the case.

I don’t have any profound advice or words of wisdom. Just this bit of info to offer you -watch your words. They mean something- to everyone, including, and especially, God. 

Matthew 12:36,37 – “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

Tact

Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

This is probably one of my all time favorite verses. One of my other favorites is Philippians 4:13.

I had Ladies’ Auxiliary meeting last night. This was one of the verses that I did our lesson on. I challenged the ladies to memorize this verse and meditate upon it so as to apply it directly to their every day life.

You see, our lesson last night was on tact – being tactful. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my mouth runs away from me. On and on I go like a babbling brook. Just the other day I was watching a soccer game with no awareness whatsoever about who was around me and I opened my mouth to identify that my son was off-sides and who was standing right there? The oblivious referee – he wouldn’t have made the call if I hadn’t assisted him in identifying my son’s mistake. Open mouth, insert foot.

Being tactful includes being able to control your thoughts and your actions. It is being able to handle a situation with grace and dignity when what you really want to do speak your mind. It is knowing what to say, when to say it and how to say it.

But praise God, we don’t have to attempt this feat by ourself! Nope, we have the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us through these delicate situations, if we let Him. That’s the thing – we have to LET Him. It is so easy to think that we can guard our tongue and control our thoughts. But more often than not, I find myself in a mess because I foolishly think that I can handle it.

Psalm 141:3 – “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”

My, oh my, how true this verse is! It reminds me of the prayer -keep Your arm around my shoulders and Your hand over my mouth. Control. Tact.

I need Jesus to be in charge of my thoughts. I have to consider the root of my words and that starts with my mind and my heart. If I let Him have control over these two areas, the opportunity is there to create an environment where He is praised and glorified in all areas of my life – including my words.

So, let me encourage you today to memorize these two verses and let them soak into who you are. Let them be the prayer on your lips each and every moment today. Let’s just see what God will do when we get out of the way and let Him lead.

Words and Gabbing

Ecclesiastes 5:2 – “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.”

Have you ever said something and then bugged your eyes out while covering you mouth in shock that you really just said that? Oh my, if I had a penny for every time that happened in my life…

Sometimes we pop off at the mouth. We let our words escape our mouth and they are out there before we think. And therein lies the problem, thinking before we speak. What we fail to consider sometimes is that once those words leave our mouth, there is no getting them back. They are out there for the world to consider, remember and use against us at will. 

Words are very powerful things. They can encourage. They can tear down. They can create joy and sadness. They can make life worth living and they can destroy dreams. But the most important thing to think about when considering words is the mind behind them. 

Matthew 12:34-37 – “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

You see, what is in your heart eventually comes out of your mouth. And because of that, every word you speak will be held accountable. Wow. How many times do we tear someone down behind their back thinking that they will never know? Guess what? They will. They will be standing at the Judgment just like us. I know I would do better to remember this fact more often than not. 

The brain is an amazing organ. No one truly understands how it works or why. But God does. He created it. He knows what is in there and subsequently, He knows what is in our heart. He knows the evil we think and the evil we do. He sees the sin that we have in our heart and knows that eventually it will make its way out of our mouth. 

But you know the beauty of it all? He knows our sin. He knows our thoughts. And He is ready to forgive us of all of it. Now, He wants a part in preventing problems as well. He wants us to allow Him to get in there and wash it all clean and create a new and better place to think and consider. And it is possible. But it needs to be done on a daily basis. We have to give Him that job consistently and constantly. And when we do, we are so much better prepared not only for the day but for life. 

But as far as “let your words be few”, I’m not so sure that is in my DNA. I come from a long line of gabbers. And that’s okay. You see, I know that God uses my gift of gab to bless others, at least I hope I’m a blessing. The thing is, I have to allow Him to direct my gabbing. If I go at it on my own, that is when I end up with my foot in my mouth – and that is never pretty. 

So let me encourage you today to allow God to direct your words and the thoughts behind them. And if you have the gift of gab like I do, embrace it and let God use it. If not, try going out of your comfort zone and gabbing for a change. It is actually quite fun!

How to be holy in a modern world of weird – part 6

1 Peter 1:13-16 – “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation”

I enjoy talking. I like to talk to all different kinds of people. People have such interesting stories to tell. You know, words are very powerful. I’m sure I’m not the only one whose mom has said to them, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” That old adage has kept me out of trouble many times. And not adhering to it has caused bucket loads of grief.

There is a reason that Peter is encouraging his readers to be holy in conversation. Our conversations should be holy because our heart and mind are holy. Matthew 12:34 – “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Just like “you are what you eat”, so to “you are what you think”. If you put junk in, junk will come out. Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

One verse that I sometimes wish I could hang in front of my face consistently is this: Matthew 12:36,37 – “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” If I could hang that out there like you would hang a carrot on a stick for a donkey, then maybe, O maybe, I would remember it! There are times when I feel like my “idle words” are the only things that come out of my mouth. My conversations are not holy.

I am trying so hard to guard my words. But you see, that is my problem – I am guarding my words. I need to let the True Guardian guard my words. I need to let Him have reign over my tongue. Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” I need to ask Him to make my words and my thoughts what He wants them to be.

Today, princess, I want to encourage you to let The Guardian manage your conversations today. Let Him have your words (and your actions, because sometimes actions speak louder than words). Don’t speak unless you would say your words in front of Jesus. Let me tell you this, that will put a halt to several things that come out of your mouth. And don’t worry when others start to think you are weird. It’s all part of the process – being holy in a modern world of weird.

Don’t be a volcano!

James 1:19 – “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”

Have you ever been around someone who wouldn’t let you get a word in edgewise? You are discussing something and you hit a nerve and off they go. They don’t stop to breathe. They just keep going and the more they talk, the angrier they get. It’s almost like they are stirring themselves up. And even when they do stop, they have worked themselves up so much that anything you say seems to only add fuel to the fire. Is it just me or does that sort of thing make you crazy?

How are you supposed to combat this type of thing? What should you say or do? Nothing. Nothing you say will make things better. And as far as doing something? Well, distraction is usually the best thing – your distraction, that is.

You see, this type of behavior has been around a long time. James was led by God to write about such behavior.
Swift to hear – Be ready to listen. Listening is more than hearing. Listening is attending to the person as they form their thoughts. When my husband and I were first married, I can remember telling him, “You may be hearing me, but your not listening to me.” It took him a while to understand what I was expressing to him, but he finally got it. So, be ready to stop what you are doing and focus all your attention on the speaker. It may be just what they need.
Slow to speak – Choose your words carefully. Mean every word that you say. Don’t spew out careless words. We all know that they will come back to bite you on the backside. Remember, Momma always said that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Words of wisdom that will keep away lots of trouble.
Slow to wrath – Don’t wear your emotions on your shirtsleeve. Don’t have a chip on your shoulder. Stop thinking that everyone is out to get you. People like that are so difficult to be around. You feel like you are walking on eggshells every time they show up. Now, does that mean that you should let people walk all over you? No, I’m not saying that. But let it roll. I try to live by the “Modify and adapt” motto. To me that means “go with the flow”. Do what you can with what you’ve got. No need to get you panties all in a wad every time the wind changes.

So princess, the next time you find yourself around someone who is like an active volcano, ready to pop at any moment, just enable this verse in your brain and your heart. Listen, guard your words and don’t let it bother you. Pray for them. And pray for yourself that you will show them Jesus in your response. Be different. Show them your difference in your lack of anger and hostility. You never know, it just might give you an opportunity to share your difference with them.

Sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!

Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.”

This has got to be one of my most favorite verses in the Bible. It is the cry of my heart on a moment by moment basis. And though I often fail, I try.

Yesterday, I was driving my daughter to school and TobyMac was on the radio singing “Speak life”. Love that song. Then my daughter, who is a princess, says, “Speak sparkles.” What? Just think about it for a minute. What if every time you opened your mouth something you could see would come out. If you spoke things of God, sparkles would come out. If you spoke things of the world, well….maybe it would be dirt and rocks, I don’t know. Roll with me here.

I know yesterday afternoon when I was behind someone driving 10 miles under the speed limit, I was not speaking sparkles. Those were definitely rocks and dirt coming out! It is hard to speak sparkles when you are frustrated and angry, when life is not going your way.

But when we allow God to take those moments and allow Him to show us a reason for those moments, maybe the sparkles would come more easily. I want to live more like Jesus. I want to incorporate His teachings into every aspect of my life. I dream of the day when my tongue will behave itself. When my thoughts are pure and righteous. When people drive the speed limit. But that day will only come when I truly relinquish it all to Him.

So today princess, make a choice to speak sparkles. Let your words and your thoughts be from Him. Let Jesus have the day to bring the sparkles to life. And when you see that person driving 10 miles under the speed limit, well throw sparkles instead of rocks.

Words

Matthew 12:36,37 – “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.”

I know I have used this verse before. But yesterday, I had to use this verse with my daughter to teach her the importance of words.

We habitually spew words out of our mouths like it is nobody’s business. Most of the time we don’t even think about what we are going to say or how it will affect our listeners. If it comes into our head, we let it out our mouth.

Technology these days is a blessing and a curse. It allows me to keep in contact with old friends and talk with my loved ones. It allows me instant information in pretty much whatever I am curious about. But it also can hurt. We can damage people’s heart and reputation with the push of a button. We can make unwise decisions about how much information we allow the world to know about us. So many pitfalls are out there.

I was teaching my daughter, yesterday, the importance of words. I reminded her of that song “Words” by Hawk Nelson. He did an amazing job with this song. It gently reminds us that words can build up or tear down; they can start a fire or put it out. Words are powerful. They can make you feel like a princess or a dirtbag. And once a word is let loose, there is no tethering it to bring it back in to you. It is free. Free to harm. Free to encourage.

Technology coupled with words makes for a tricky situation. I warned her that you have to be careful. You cannot let the words of others harm you or make you feel bad about yourself. And if anyone is ever making you feel this way, you have to tell me. Because God has entrusted me to take care of her. She is on loan from the Father to teach and to grow in His light and His word. It is my job to take care of her. And I can’t do my job if I don’t have all the information I need.

Princess, we will be held accountable one day for every careless word, every encouraging word and every hateful word we have ever said or written that has not been redeemed by asking forgiveness, if necessary. Thankfully time will be gone by that point because it will be looooong day. So my encouragement to you today is this: think. Think about what you are going to say. Don’t let careless words fall out of your mouth. Make them sweet and savory to the ears of those hearing. But be truthful. Don’t let satan convince you to be someone you are not. It is tricky. Life is complicated. But hold on. Jesus will gladly hold your hand and walk with you all the way home.