Phil Fischer with Jesus Lives – a devotion on “Our Words”
When words of beauty are spoken, people cling to them. Thoughtful words will uplift, encourage, and comfort. However, words can also be slingshots that wound, damage, and take down both friend and foe.
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire by hell.” James 3:6 (NKJV)
Too often we speak words without a filter of love and kindness. Unkind words that hit their mark will have a ripple effect. When the rocks we throw actually hit and wound our target, the wounded one will often react by bruising another, so on and so on. On more than one occasion I have asked God to send angels to literally hold my tongue to keep me silent. Emotions are fierce, so speaking in the heat of the moment isn’t wise. When the Fruit of the Spirit is evident in our daily walk, we can trust that self-control will direct our actions.
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 (ESV)
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” James 1:19 (NIV)
Parents have a responsibility to use their words wisely when teaching their children. Always mixed with love, children need to hear words of encouragement, love, guidance, advice, and correction. With love as the undertone of all our words, truth will penetrate hearts … even if they aren’t always heeded. We are called to plant seeds of love and truth.
But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.” Ephesians 4:15 (NKJV)
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.”
Proverbs 25:11 (NASB)
Tribulation and hard times are not easy to endure but with the grace of God we can muddle through and even come out stronger. With the onset of the Corona Virus there have been many changes. The stay at home orders, social distancing, masks, layoffs, toilet paper shortages, and
daily news reports about economic disaster is now a part of the new normal. Stress can push us over the edge, while impatience and irritations daily test our spiritual resolve to guard our words. When we are tested, it’s good to recite a memorized scripture. Resisting the urge to give someone a piece of our mind is a choice. It requires self-control. It’s amazing how good it feels to walk away from irritants and trust God to work things out.
“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Proverbs 12:13 (NIV)
We have the LIVING WORD OF GOD to direct our steps. We have Jesus as a role model. He spoke truthful words in love. As Jesus traveled with His 12 disciples, I’m sure there were times of laughter but also uncomfortable disagreements. Heated conversations and discord can teach us, but they can also be divisive.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6 (NIV)
Since we are spending large amounts of time with family members (inside our homes) let’s make the most of it. Extend grace. Pray together. Eat as a family unit and converse! I grew up playing board games with my family and watched a lot of movies. With a godly perspective, we can set aside our woes (I know there are many of them) and put on a robe of thankfulness. If we focus on what we have lost or how things are changing, we can easily become bitter. If our eyes are on self and not Christ, we will struggle with a negative attitude.
Can you make a list of things you are thankful for? Things that changed you because of the Corona Virus shutdown. Instead of focusing on the losses look to the riches. What have you gained? What has caught your attention because of this worldwide pandemic? How have you changed? How have you grown spiritually? Remember, God is in control. He knows what He is doing. We are just along for the ride.
“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NKJV)
“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:37 (NKJV)