DID I SAY THAT?
"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."
Many years ago, I was informally counseling a couple having marital problems. She was frustrated with him for not paying enough attention to her … and she let him know it by the things she said. It was a classic “love and respect” problem. As I listened to the wife tear her husband down with her sharp-tongued words, I said to myself, “If she could only hear the things coming out of her mouth. No wonder her husband spends so much time at the office. People don’t bash, belittle, and disrespect him there.”
Have you ever stopped to really listen to yourself? Have you ever truly considered the words that you allow to come out of your mouth? Ask yourself these four questions:
- Am I speaking words of edification, or words of destruction?
- Do my words give grace to those who hear, or do they give grief?
- Do my words please the Holy Spirit, or grieve the Holy Spirit?
- Are my words laced with bitterness and slander, or coated with blessing and sweetness?
Be honest, what type of conversation is proceeding from your mouth?
God makes it crystal clear that we are to be careful what we speak because “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). James said the tongue is “a restless evil and full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). If you and I are not careful to think before we speak, we will undoubtedly fall into the trap of using our tongues to spread poison and inflict death on family members, friends, classmates, workmates, neighbors, and associates.
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Why is the tongue full of deadly poison? Where do the rotten words come from? Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34). Your mouth is like a bucket, and your heart is the well. If rottenness is found in your “bucket,” it is because rottenness is present in your heart. The answer is not to wash your mouth out with soap, but rather to deal with the sin and bitterness that have obviously found a home in your heart.
TAKE THE ROTTENNESS TO GOD
What do you do when you have been hurt and mistreated and, therefore, believe you are “justified” in lashing out with your tongue? Take the hurt and mistreatment to God. Share it all with Him—and leave it there. If there is bitterness within you as clearly revealed by the words you are speaking, get that bitterness out of your heart and under His blood. Confess it to Him; repent and claim His abundant forgiveness. He wants to give you a pure heart like His. And when your heart is right, when the well is clean, the mouth brings forth words that bless and refresh like cold water to a thirsty soul.
May this New Year usher in a “new you” as you look to the Lord and obey His Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.