My words can flow so quickly at times and without a filter. Often, without thinking about who I really am or who I’m currently standing in front of (and also without thinking about how God hears all my words), I just say what’s on my mind with little hesitation! I might not cuss like a sailor, but at times, I can get pretty close. Does that make me look cool or more like a fool? And it’s not only about foul language. How many times have I said negative or hurtful things about someone else? If I’m to be a light for Jesus, how do these ugly words flying out of my mouth reflect him? We were created in God’s image, and I’m pretty sure that He wouldn’t drop expletives in casual conversation or say ugly things about others when frustrated with them. This is something that I’m seriously working on. I want to let the words that flow out from my mouth be a beautiful living example of Him.
Okay, now let’s switch gears to our thoughts. Yikes! I am pretty sure the words that sometimes swirl around in my head can be much worse than the ones that actually come out of my mouth, especially if I’m thinking of those thoughts in fear, bitterness, or in the middle of a disagreement that I’m not “winning.” For many years, I thought the words that were spoken in my head didn’t matter because as long as I didn’t speak them out loud, no one heard them; therefore, no one was hurt, right? Um, nope. That’s not true at all. Because God hears them. And not only does God hear them, but they are also like poison eating away at me. What was I thinking? My words—whether spoken aloud or in my head—matter!
Proverbs says “a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Perverse. That word is harsh, and it’s certainly not a word that I want my heavenly Father to associate with me. If we could hold the words of our hearts, minds, and souls in our hands, would we feel comfortable giving them to our heavenly Father?
For me, I couldn’t say that’s true all the time. This is a real struggle in my life! It’s not easy. But I have to ask myself: how will using these ugly words help fix anything? They won’t. But God can help. So, the next time those words come swinging in like a wrecking ball, I know I can breathe deep, go to Him first, and allow Him to give me words. And you can too. I want the words that I speak and think to be words of hope, peace, and comfort. I want them to point people to Jesus.
- Are the words that flow from your mouth always spoken in gratitude and truth? Can you think of a time in the past week when that hasn’t been the case?
- Today, how can the words you speak and think be like a tree of life to yourself and others? Would visualizing Jesus standing among your circle of friends help you?