My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, - James 1:19 NIV
After posting Part 2 of this series, I had to take more seriously what comes out of my mouth. I found that I had to bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut time and time again in the last few days. When I think about how I used to talk – I thought that, by comparison, I was doing pretty well. My use of degrading words, along with the sarcasm that I thought was hilarious and witty, has definitely been curbed. However, I still have a looong way to go. Not that I have abandoned a sense of humor, but I have taken to heart the potential for damage that comes out of my mouth. Some of the things that I thought were amusing before are no longer funny.
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking,
which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. - Ephesians 5:4 NIV
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, - Ephesians 5:19 NIV
I have to ask:
What’s going on in the hearer’s life?
My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me. - Job 17:1 NIV
Are you blessing or cursing?
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. - Romans 12:14 NIV
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, - 1Peter 3:18 NIV
Speaking freedom or bondage?
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. - John 8:36 NIV
We can never assume that we know what kind of a day/week/month or year that the recipient of our words has had. Perhaps they are having the worst of days or are on a cloud of happiness. Rest assured that you have the power to either offer them a tall, cool drink of Living Water or knock the props right out from under them. I have known firsthand the affects of words on me. Some have taken years to recover from. Others, I cling to.
Your homework: Stop. Think. Then speak. Ask the Lord to show you how your words affect the people around you.
Lord God, we rejoice that, as your adopted sons and daughters, we can boldly come before your throne. We thank you and praise you for your mercy. Father, I ask that you cause us all to pause and check ourselves when we are about to speak things that do not come from You; that do not represent Your heart and character. Less of us, more of You.
Lord, we ask that you show us where we have hurt others and ask that you nullify those words spoken out of wrong motive. Begin a healing in the lives of those that we have affected either knowingly or unknowingly. Help us to be more aware of what and why we are about to speak. In Jesus precious name, Amen!
Be blessed and be a blessing!
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