What’s in your mouth? What comes out of it? Do the words that come out start in your heart? Your head? Both?
How often have we heard scandalous things about someone, and feel it’s our duty to let others know about it? How often do we try to show humility by putting ourselves down? How often do we try to teach humility to others by using insensitive, demeaning words?
As you contemplate all these questions, listen to the music the Lord gave me about watching our words.
The Lord gave me this music to play, and is yours to bless your ears and heart.
To download this music file, right-click the graphic.
In God’s word, the bible, there are many scriptures about blessings and curses. In Deuteronomy 28, blessings for obedience are listed. Following that is a list of curses for disobedience. I urge you to read it. What strikes me about that chapter were the amount of curses versus blessings. It made me pray for more sensitivity to the Lord’s Will so I can be more obedient!
We live in a society where the media has decided to relax it’s use of certain words and phrases that were taboo 20 years ago, where many of us insult in the name of sarcasm, self-deprecation, and where we freely give our opinions about others... especially if it’s a complaint or derogatory opinion. Did you know all of these negative things are a form of cursing?
The word of God talks a lot about the impact these blessings and curses have on us. As I learn more about Jesus and the culture He grew up in, the blessing and curses rise up from the pages, beaconing me to pay attention to them. One of the verses that has had an impact on me comes from Genesis 12:1-3, The Call of Abram (before God changed his name to Abraham). 1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
The children of God are descendants of Abraham... whether you are Jewish, Christian or Muslim. When we wish the worst and/or spew defiling language at others, we are cursing the lineage of Abraham. God says He’ll curse those that curse them.
Another way to look at this, is to ask yourself how you feel when someone makes a negative comment about something you’ve made, or a family member... especially your child. It hurts, doesn’t it? God, as Creator of All, hurts when we offer negative comments about His children, too. In God’s word, God lets us know how to handle discipline without destroying a person’s spirit. We are to correct each other, but with words that will build us up and edify us... in doing that, we are to be careful not to use false words of flattery, to keep it truthful. We are called to use grace-based discipline, rather than shame-filled discipline.
Wow, that’s really hard, isn’t it? It might be too lofty an expectation. But let’s think of it this way... when goals or expectations are set too low, what happens? Rarely does a person decide to go beyond that “bar.” When the “bar” is set pretty high, everyone knows there will be some failure in trying to reach it. Many are surprised to find out how much further they can reach after that failure, able to reach closer to that “bar.” As they rise up, they are strengthened and blessed beyond their expectations.
When we look at our failures as weaknesses, we need to remind ourselves that God chooses the weak and humble because their walls of pride aren’t there, and He is better able to flow into them with His strength and blessings. Weakness is a position into which God can flow.
I’ve had a great lesson on word watching these past few days. You need to know that I have been very diligent about watching my words for the past 3 years. I won’t lie to you, it’s hard. In the last 3 years, I have seen a positive difference in my attitude, and people’s attitudes toward me... and others.
This past Sunday a whole host of things didn’t go according to what I had envisioned for the day, especially the morning. I was supposed to bring cut-up apples for a celebratory breakfast, and realized I had forgotten them after we were a few minutes away from our home. Already disappointed in how the day was going, I proceeded to throw a temper tantrum, spewing a few cuss words and angry words about myself. My boys were in the car. We turned around to get the apples, and they were helpful in retrieving them. My outburst caused an unexpected outcome. The boys, especially the oldest, were very downcast. They took on, and were “wearing” my offense. Instead of praising God for alerting me early in our departure, I chose to curse what happened.
A couple of days later, as we were gathered around the dinner table, enjoying fortunes from fortune cookies, I read my fortune. It said, “You are only as old as you act.” We all got a kick out of that. I mentioned that I was really young, maybe 2 years old, in light of my temper tantrum from last Sunday. To that, our oldest replied, “Yeah. You’re a 2 year old with a large vocabulary.” What wisdom... a rebuke with a compliment!
Until next time...
As you go about your week, I bless you to be encouraged in offering blessings to those that anger you (heard by them or not)... the person who cuts you off in traffic, the person that insults you, the person you so eagerly want to talk about in a bad way. Use encouraging, truthful words from the bible, or those that God gives you, to bless instead of curse. I bless you to be a Godly Word Watcher, in the blessed name of Jesus!
Pray the following scriptures to bless you and others. These words are meant to be heard.
Luke 6:43-45 (Jesus speaking to His disciples)
A Weekly Musical
Author & Musician
Holly Van Gilder