“May we fill our hearts with God’s Word to ensure that, that which ensues from our lips is true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise.”
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me! Did you ever blurt that old saying out as a kid when someone insulted you or called you a name? I did. The truth is, I can still remember some of those incidences. Words did hurt me.
My late father-in-law, Neil Bellamy, told a story of the effect that words can have on our thinking. In his day, he was the senior manager of a large drawing office in a mining company in Johannesburg, South Africa. One day he was discussing with a colleague about the power of words and how a simple suggestion could have a great effect on the hearer. “I’ll show you what I mean,” said Neil. He promptly walked across the drawing office to an unsuspecting draftsman, hard at work at his board. “Dave,” he said, “are you feeling okay?”
“Why?” replied Dave. “I feel fine.”
“You sure? You look really peaky. I think you should sit down for a moment. Can I get you a glass of water?”
For the next half hour Neil continued to make suggestions to Dave that he might be feeling a little off-colour until Dave finally agreed and asked if he could take the rest of the day off. My dear dad-in-law needed to apologise profusely. “I’m really sorry, Dave,” you look fine. I was just trying to prove a point.”
The word, “words” appears 518 times in the English Standard Version of the Bible, while the word, “word” appears 1,182 times. The Scriptures are full of words about words. For instance, wisdom is personified in Proverbs 8, implying that we who desire to seek and track God’s purposes, should agree with wisdom and speak as she speaks: “All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.” In Proverbs 18 we read that life and death are in the power of the tongue. James expounds the danger of tongue when, by the Holy Spirit, he says, “It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
As we desire to seek and track the plans and purposes of God for our lives, let us be willing to bridle our tongues. May we fill our hearts with God’s Word to ensure that, that which ensues from our lips is true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise.
God-tracking is using words wisely
DON’T GIVE UP, LOOK UP & PRAY
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lip, I pray
“O LORD, forgive me for all the times I have used my tongue to hurt, insult or curse others. I confess wrong use of words, to you. I realise that it is by confession that I am saved – Lord help me to only confess what is true, noble and praise worthy. I also, reject and renounce all negative and destructive words that have been spoken over me. You are Lord of my life; my life is in you. Therefore, I trust your Word over me, as your son/daughter. Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lip, I pray. Amen.”
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