One Year Wisdom Challenge

How Christians Can Sweeten Their Lives By Managing Their Words

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“I call ‘em as I see ‘em.”

“I always shoot from the hip.”

“I simply say what I think.”

“You’re over-sensitive.”

Reality- Speaking thoughtlessly and then being defensive when someone calls me out. Sweeten your words-change your life.

“I’m telling you cause I’m so concerned for them.”

“I just need to vent to someone about her/him.”

“It’s not gossip because it’s true.”

“I’m not saying anything I haven’t already said to their face.”

Reality-Talking about someone to a third party who has no authority or ability to help the subject of your conversation is gossiping. Sweeten your words-change your life.

“I’m simply a realist.”

“What? The world’s a tough place.”

“Don’t get your hopes too high.”

Reality- Negativity is a choice. We see the glass as half-empty or half-full. Sweeten your words-change your life.

I’m probably going to get sick.”

“Nothing ever works out quite right for me.”

“I’m so clumsy.”

“I already know I won’t like it.”

“I can’t get myself organized.”

“I’m never going to lose weight.”

“I can’t seem to get anything done.”

Reality- Negative self-talk crushes the remarkable potential God places inside every human. Sweeten your words-change your life.

Could you hear yourself in any of the above statements? I do. There’s an episode of the show “Everybody Loves Raymond” in which Raymond’s wife, Deborah, doesn’t recognize how ghastly her mood swings are. Ray decides to record her for a day. When he plays the recording, this creates an even larger argument between Ray and Deborah yet, every time I watch that episode I think, “Ken (my husband) probably should have done that with me.”

*****The holidays are upon us, and our mouths will be put to the test. Are we ready to spread encouragement, truth, and grace? Download my free devotional, “Watch Your Mouth,” for verses and meditations that will help you. You’ll find it on my website pastorsfeistywife.com under the November section of “Wisdom Challenge Resources.”

Truth is, if I listened to a recording of my life, I’d cringe frequently. How about you? I found 48 verses about the tongue and the mouth in Proverbs, and there might be even more. Four of them inspired me to write this post.

Whoever guards his mouth, preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3

Whoever keeps his mouth, and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. 21:23

 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him. 29:20

The tongue has the power of life and death.18:21 

I wish that a machine existed that colored the air around us according to what we say, like when people “turn the air blue” with a lot of cussing? If negative words colored the air red and positive ones turned everything a sunny yellow, how fast do you think we’d get our mouths under control? Some of us would probably be living in a red zone for a while until we sorted ourselves better.

We love to blame Satan, the world and others for our problems but how often do we blame our own tongues?

If I’m gossiping about someone, why am I surprised when my relationship with them is strained? I planted the seeds of discord. They grow.

If I talk bluntly to people, without kindness and grace, why am I surprised and offended when people speak that way to me? I planted those trees and now I’m reaping that fruit.

If I talk negatively about the world and others, why am I surprised when a lot of rain seems to fall in my life? I attracted those rain clouds. One of my mentors says it like this, “What you fear draws near.”  In other words, dark spirits are attracted to ugly words and feelings. When they draw nearer to us, they drag all their garbage along with them.

Jesus said it like this in Matthew 15:11. “It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” Jesus experienced truckloads of negativity and hatred coming at him daily yet the atmosphere around him stayed so sweet children longed to be with him.I want people to love being around me like that, don’t you? I want people to feel better about life and themselves when they enter my sphere.

Here’s a few action steps Holy Spirit brought to my mind to help me consistently create a better environment. Perhaps they could help you too.

  • Ask your family to point it out to you when you get on a negative jag and then don’t get honked at them when they do.
  • Daily ask Holy Spirit to fill you and produce his fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, meekness, gentleness, and self-control.
  • Ask God to sanctify and purify your tongue as often as you need to within a day.
  • Own it and then repent when you are rude, sarcastic, belligerent, discouraging, critical or negative.
  • Don’t be surprised when God intersects your path with people who share your same mouth faults. He wants us to hear and see what we sound and look like when we are acting up.
  • Put the cloak of humility on in group conversations and remind yourself that your thoughts and opinions don’t need to be shared so generously so often.
  • Go make things right with people you’ve hurt with your mouth. Ask God to bring these instances to your mind.

My prayer for all of us is that we will change our speech to resonate more with the voices of heaven and less with those of this world. Remember we are in the world but not of the world. Sweeten your life and the lives of those around you, by changing your words

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