Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional for Women

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Girlfriends in God - Feb. 25, 2011

February 25, 2011 

What Kind of Book Are You Writing?  

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
"I will be careful how I act and will not sin by what I say. I will be careful what I say around wicked people. I became very angry inside, and as I thought about it, my anger burned. So, I spoke" (Psalm 39:1, 3 NCV).

Friend To Friend
A young lady named Sally relates an experience she had in a Seminary class taught by Dr. Smith, a teacher who was well known for his elaborate object lessons. One particular day, Sally walked into the classroom and instantly knew they were going to have a lot of fun. On the wall was a big target and on a nearby table was a large stack of darts. Dr. Smith told the students to draw a picture of a person they disliked or someone who had made them angry and he would allow them to throw darts at the person's picture.

Sally's girlfriend drew a picture of a girl who had stolen her boyfriend. Another friend drew a picture of his little brother who was a constant irritation. Sally drew a picture of a former friend who had betrayed her. As Sally remembered the pain and hurt of that broken friendship, she put a great deal of detail into her drawing, even drawing pimples on the face. When her picture was completed, Sally sat back and gazed at her work, pleased with the overall effect she had achieved.

The class lined up and began throwing darts. Laughter and shouts of success rang out as each dart found its target. Some of the students threw the darts with such force that their targets were ripping apart. Sally was looking forward to her turn but was disappointed when Dr. Smith called time and asked the students to return to their seats.

As Sally sat thinking about how angry she was because she didn't have a chance to throw any darts at her target, Dr. Smith began removing the target from the wall. Underneath the target was a picture of Jesus. A complete hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covering His face.

Dr. Smith quietly said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40, KJV). No other words were necessary. The tear-filled eyes of each student focused only on the picture of Christ. 

Words are like seeds. What we plant will grow. The words we speak are powerful and will either build up or destroy. Words can diffuse anger and turn tragedy into triumph. The right word, spoken at the right time and in the right way can bring peace in the midst of confusion. God gives us "spiritual radar" so we can assess a situation and speak the right word for that circumstance, but how often do we speak before we check the radar?

·         A judge utters a few words and a guilty man is taken to death row.

·         A friend speaks a word of encouragement and a desperate heart finds hope.

·         A mother lashes out with angry words and the light in her child's eyes is gone.

·         A wife offers a word of forgiveness and a marriage is saved.

·         A gossip makes a phone call and a reputation is destroyed.

·         A teenager says "no" and changes the course of her life.

It has been estimated that most people speak enough words in one week to fill a large book of 500 pages which, in the average lifetime, would amount to somewhere around 3000 volumes or 1,500,000 pages. What kind of book are you writing today with your words? 

Let's Pray 
Father, I need Your help. I want the words I speak to encourage and build up the people in my life. Forgive me for the hurtful words I have spoken. Teach me how to speak the right words in each situation and how to think before I speak. And Lord, help me keep my mouth shut when I need to!

In Jesus' name,


Now It's Your Turn
Read Colossians 4:6 (NLT) "Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone."

What guidelines does this verse give us for the words we speak?

What one change do you need to make today in order to tame your tongue?

More From The Girlfriends
I love the honesty of the woman who prayed, "Lord, help me control my tongue so that on Judgment Day, I won't be found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon." I struggle to control the words I speak. I can be quick to criticize and slow to encourage. Not a day passes that I don't find myself wishing I could retract some statement I made during the day. The reality is that a spoken word cannot be unspoken. We need to understand the power of our words and choose them carefully.

Need help taming your tongue when you are angry? Get Mary's six-week Bible Study,

Anger Management 911. Anger is an emotion we all experience at one time or another, but angry words can have disastrous results. This study is based on the life of Nehemiah and will help you learn how to control anger instead of allowing anger to control you.

It's not too late to enroll in Mary's weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey, and have access to all of 2011 studies. The current topic is How to Handle Hurt. We will experience pain and hurt but we can learn how to handle the hurt in a way that honors God and assures a life of victory.

Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.  

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