Hey y’all… how’s your mama and ’em?
Growing up I tended to take things literally, so I never quite understood the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Words did hurt. A lot. I tended to be at the receiving end of not so nice ones more times than I care to remember. As a result, I built my own arsenal of words so that I could deliver blow by blow retaliations. All that served to accomplish was separating friends and adding a degree of guilt to my already hurt feelings.
James 3:7-9 (NLT) reads, “People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.” Ouch! James continues in verse 11, “Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water?” Jesus said it like this in Matthew 12:34, “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” When you listen to yourself talk, does it reflect the person you think you are? The person you want to be? If not, you need to work on your heart.
Before you can change your heart, you have to begin by taking account of what you are feeding your mind. Philippians 4:8 reads, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” When you fill your mind with things that bring glory to God, your heart and your mouth will follow. But when you continually listen to other people, movies, or music that tears down, your mouth will spew the hatred it has heard.
Even cartoon animals are taught, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” For many, (myself at times included) that is a difficult task indeed. Proverbs 17:28, “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.” Abraham Lincoln summed it up like this, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
This week use your words to encourage and to build others up. As you listen to yourself, be aware that your words reflect the status of your heart. If you don’t like what you’re hearing, hush your mouth, honey child. What goes in, will come out. As you spend more time in prayer and Bible study, your words will reflect more and more of the character of God in your life. As for me, I think it’s going to be a quiet week as I reflect on the person I am verses the person God has called me to be.
Have a blessed week, y’all!