Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. (Proverbs 4:23-24 NIV)
Sometimes A lot of the time, it would do me good to just count to 10.. Or 10,000. Depends on the moment.
Hear me when I say that I’m a work in progress. Hear me when I say that it is usually with my husband and our daughters. As in, I’m like a babbling brook overflowing with however I feel at the moment.. With the ones who share my space.(anybody else relate?) My tribe. Poor things. They see me when I’m tired. They see me when I’m at my breaking point. Poor things see me and hear me when I’ve had all that I think I can bear. Bless ’em.
Hey. I could turn it around and say that while they see me at my worst, I too, see them at their worst. It’s true.
What is in my heart will overflow out of that leaky faucet of a mouth I tend to have here at home amongst my tribe. My tribe. Home should be our safe place. The safe place.
Whether I’m rambling or not thinking before speaking, or saying what I feel without feeling what I say, it’s a heart issue.
Listen. I know good and well that I’m not the only woman or person that needs to learn to keep my words sweet. Or even just keep my words.. In my mouth.. Zipped up. Words are what gets most of us in trouble.
Just like the way a piano key is pounded or gently tapped or softly pressed, our words have the same effect. The tone we use can change a mood entirely. It’s a choice. Tone. Timing. Temperature. Yes, your words, my words, they even have a temperature!
Hot words –> When angry
Cold words –> When wanting to hurt
Warm words –> To soothe and show love
You get the point.
Words. I love words. Can you take a wild guess at what one of my main love languages is? Yep. You guessed it. Words of Affirmation. I LOVE words. I mean, I’m a writer for goodness sakes. I love words. I love to use them to encourage others. I love to pray. I love to share the gospel through words. Sometimes my words are not encouraging to my little tribe here at home though.
I should probably work on that with my man. Usually it’s when I’m tired or being selfish that I snap on him. Even if I’m not in the wrong, I still have a choice when using my words.
I should probably work on that with my daughters. They learn what they live. When I find myself getting on to them about their smart mouths or tone with each other, I stop and think for a second. Hey. They get it from us. They get it from me. They learn what they live.
My God is so merciful and gracious and good. I can hardly believe sometimes that HE would choose to love a sinner like me, in spite of me. HE loves me, he knows me, he made me, he loves me in spite of all of my failures and inadequacies.
And if I want to truly SHINE JESUS, my words better reflect JESUS.
Maybe you find yourself feeling the same way at times. Ashamed when you fail. Frustrated because the levy broke and ugly or hurtful words spewed out. Embarrassed because you should have it together by now. But you don’t. And I don’t. HE is not finished with us yet friends. Praise God HE is not finished.
We can fix our leaky faucets. With God. We can be intentional about our choice of words. We can think before we speak, text, tweet, or post. We can listen more than we speak. You know the old two ears one mouth saying, the one about listening twice as much as we speak. We can choose to overlook an offense as the Proverbs tells us. We can do some heart surgery. Inspecting ourselves. Looking deep within. Getting to the root. Immersing ourselves in The WORD of God and in prayer. Communicating with the One who created us.
If the saying “You are who you hang around” is true. And it is. Then maybe we would all do well to “hang around” God more.
No matter the circumstance, we all have a choice in how we react and whether we bridle our tongue or not.
I’m grateful for my God. The One who shows mercy to me when I mess up. And I’m grateful to the ones who remind me of Jesus.. The ones who show me mercy as well.
Maybe it’s time for a heart check.
Is there an area involving words that you need to work on in order to shine Jesus? Do you need to apologize to someone for the way that your mouth may have offended them? Do you need to spend more time with the One who made you? I know my answer to all three questions. Yes.
We never know what the future holds. Only God knows. Life can change in a split second. Our words matter. The way we choose to use them matter.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~ Ephesians 4:28,29 (NIV)
Until Next Time,
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One Thousand Gifts ~ Ann VosKamp
Unglued ~ Lysa Terkeurst
The Excellent Wife ~ Martha Peace
Crazy Love ~ Francis Chan
Radical ~ David Platt
The 5 Love Languages ~ Gary Chapman
Let's All Be Brave ~ Annie F Downs
Love Idol ~ Jennifer Dukes Lee
Boundaries ~ Henry Cloud & John Townsend
Whole ~ Lisa Whittle
A Million Little Ways ~ Emily P Freeman