“The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” Matthew 12:34.
There was once a bunch of tiny frogs, who arranged a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. And so the race began.
No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower. They shouted things like, “Oh, this is way too difficult!!! They will NEVER make it to the top!”, and, “Not a chance. The tower is too high!”.
And sure enough, many of tiny frogs began collapsing and saying, “They’re right! It’s too difficult! No one will make it!”
More and more tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But this one little guy, well, he continued higher and higher. This one wouldn’t give up! And he reached the top with a smile on his face and a little spring still in his step!
Astounded, everyone wanted to know how this one frog managed such a great feat.
His secret? This little frog was deaf, and therefore was never tempted to give in to the discouraging words of the other frogs around him!!
I love that story! So many good lessons in there – never give up, keep smiling, and…DON’T BE TEMPTED TO LISTEN TO THE NEGATIVE CHATTER!
The words we use have great power, don’t they?! The impact, both positive and negative, is far reaching and attach meaning to people, places and things that will either lift them up or beat them down.
As sweet sister friends in Christ, we have a calling to be wise, discerning, and loving with our words! I’m not only talking about what we say to each other, but ALSO what we say to ourselves. Negative self-chatter is just as damaging to our souls as when someone else uses words against us.
So what’s good Jesus girl to do? Well, stopping the internal negative self-talk is something we’ve been talking about for a while now. CHANGE THE BROKEN RECORDS! At this point, I may be sounding like a broken record myself with this one, but we seriously need to catch ourselves in the act of self-sabotage, stop it, and PUT ON the Truth that God speaks to us. If you can remember nothing else in that moment, try this one on for size:
“God made you special and He loves you very much.” Bob the Tomato, Veggie Tales.
Okay, it sounds silly coming from a tomato, I know. But it works. I swear by that one!
Just as importantly, we need to be guarding our very tongues from speaking lies, gossip, judgment, and hypocrisy about other people, too. Did you know sometimes we don’t even know we’re doing that? We think that speaking about someone under the guise of concern is okay. (As in when you are talking on the phone to your BFF and you say, “I’m so worried about Sally. I hear she and Joe are having serious problems.”) Every time I’ve done something like that it has led to no good, believe me.
Here’s a verse that gives me great pause every I hear it:
“By our speech we can ruin the whole world, turn harmony into chaos, throw mud on reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke that comes right from the pit of hell.” James 3:6, MSG.
You can take that one to the bank, sister friends, and earn a bunch of interest on it because it is solid gold Truth. I’ve seen my words practically burn the daylights of someone else. On the flip side, I’ve turned into a withered mess, myself, at the harsh words of others. I cringe at the memory of my impatient words wilting the smile of my daughter. I also weep at the recollection of being shot down and belittled by people I’ve loved. But that’s not the end of this lesson!
Sisters, there is so much hope for us in this area! Our words indeed have the power to crush – but MOST IMPORTANTLY – they have the power to create something great! Every single time we open our mouths, we have a choice: burn up or build up.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the body.” Proverbs 16:24, NIV.
Before you speak, take a second to ask yourself how sweet and healing your words will sound. The power is in your tongue; use it with wisdom, with discernment, and in His love.
Up later this week: Here Comes the Judge…!