Oh Lord, Let My Mouth Be a Blessing

by Kim McDougal

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

Millions of quotes made by so many famous people, scholars, historians don many websites and books after these people have since long been gone. Yet, their words live on today for you and I to read to be inspired and uplifted. Words have life – eternal life if you will, whether good or bad. You might forget how you got that bump on your head when you fell out of a swing at age 10, but you may never forget the words of your 4th grade teacher who inspired you in some way.

If we say that we want Christ to work in us and through us and we want to mirror His life, shouldn’t that include the words we speak? It’s so easy to overlook the power that God has given us with using our mouth. We can use it for good or for bad and I don’t think we realize just how much power this little part of our body actually has. We tend to blurt out things that come in our head that really should never be spoken. Sometimes, we’re just gabbing making absolutely no sense in what we’re saying. Or worse yet, we’re reacting to someone or some circumstance in frustration or anger and these are the times that we should take a deep, deep breath and take a step back to calm down BEFORE we speak. Remember, we have the power of the tongue at our disposal and if we don’t want to receive nasty words thrown at us, then let’s not do it at someone else either.

And just as it is easy to tear down with the mouth, it is even easier to build someone up. It costs us nothing to sincerely encourage another person or compliment them on something. I get blessed daily by the people in my life, but how often do I tell them this? I have to sadly admit, “not enough.” And suppose I don’t wake up tomorrow…having never or hadn’t in a long time, told the people I care about, that I love and appreciate them? When was the last time, I spoke a word of encouragement to someone who needed it? Unfortunately, I’m so caught up in my own world that at times, I am completely oblivious to others around me. And if you look around even for a few minutes, you can tell there are people you who really need an encouraging word. You might be the last person they see with the power of Christ to speak a word of life into them. Don’t let those opportunities pass you by. They may NEVER forget your words and what you speak to them might keep them from making a drastic decision that could alter the rest of their life. When God spoke to me about all this, this morning, I suddenly realized how important our life is to Him. We’re so careful what clothes we put on, what accessories we wear to match, what products to use on our bodies, how we take care of our hair, and even the shoes we wear, but how often do we groom our mouths? Do we take proper care of our words allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through? We must do this to be completely immersed in Christ as He is our example.

Today, look for opportunities to speak a word of life to someone. If you sincerely love the Lord, know that He sincerely loves people and He doesn’t want a person who is hurting pass you by and you had the power of the tongue to help them but you were too busy that you didn’t even see them.

Anger Hurts

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45

Why are you angry? If someone’s angry in my presence, I automatically assume that they are mad at me? I frantically begin to search through my thoughts for what I did wrong. It wasn’t until I began to grow in my faith that I learned how wrong that was. I think of two things. First, why was I so insecure that I automatically assumed that I had done something wrong? And, secondly, what causes someone to become so angry that they feel its okay to share their anger with those around them? I realize, were not all so insecure that we take blame for another person’s anger. That insecurity was birthed from emotional baggage in our lives, and usually only effects us as individuals. Anger, however, is wide reaching and destructive to everyone in its path. It takes a deep relationship with God to begin a work of healing in both of these areas.

“For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:20

Anger is a God-given emotion that warns a person that something is wrong. You cannot stop the emotion from arising, but how you express your anger determines whether it is sinful or appropriate. Anger also gives Satan a foothold in our soul. Our actions when were angry hurt others and destroy our testimony. Habits are difficult to break.

“Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” Psalms 4:4

We need to learn new ways to handle life’s upsets. The first step in overcoming problems, whether they are physical, emotional or spiritual, is to admit you are in need and desire to change. As we give ourselves over to the Holy Spirit, He will help us to grow in self-control. The Holy Spirit can teach us how to express our anger appropriately. We can never experience the fullness of God’s love through the veil of anger. The bible says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 Ask the Lord to teach you healthy ways to manage your anger. Without Him, we will continue to be in bondage to our anger.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you are sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:29-30

Sweet Blessings

Power In Silence

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12/37

It is often said that there is great power in the spoken word, but perhaps there is a far greater power in silence. If someone can’t understand your silence, they probably won’t understand your words. Sometimes silence is all there is to say. In solitude, we often deal with what’s going on inside of us. Proverbs 15:4 reminds us that a “wholesome tongue is a tree of life. Words are powerful.” They can wound or heal. Spoken in love or in anger, words are often remembered by those who hear them for many years.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

Hearts filled with destruction will produce destructive words. There is a definite and undeniable link between the negative thoughts of our hearts and the words that blossom from our lips. The words we say (even silently to ourselves) are the direct result of the thoughts we think and the emotions that we feel. Our hearts are like a fertile garden that sprouts the unseen seeds planted there. Unproductive and destructive self talk is like a weed that chokes the life out of us. Remember, a weed won’t grow in a garden where it can’t take root. So plant some truth within your heart where it will spring up and overflow!

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels.” Proverbs 15:1

Trust God to help you capture words before they leave your mouth, be thankful those words were never spoken. It’s very important to choose our words carefully so that they reflect your relationship with Christ. We need to think about the words that we choose before we say them so that they always impart grace to our listeners.

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life. Proverbs 15:4

Sweet Blessings

Open Handed Advice

by Georgia Kent

“Warn those who are idle, encouraging the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone”. -1 Thessalonians 5:14

It is a huge challenge to learn how to properly give advice to others without being too pushy. It can be a struggle to offer advice when you feel that someone that you love is making a wrong decision.

I read a beautiful depiction about how to give advice with ‘Open Hands’ as a gift and not a judgment. Sometimes, when we give advice, we come across as judgmental and accusing. We need to be more timid and cautious. In the words of Thessalonians 5:14, the verse is clear that we should warn, encourage and  help others, but to do it with patience. We need to remember that when we give advice to someone that it is ultimately their journey to discover and grow in.

God places us in each other’s lives to be helpful and not hurtful. A dear friend once told me that “perfection is only in the individual”. That statement has come to play many times in my life when I am asked to give advice. What I think as perfect is not necessarily perfect for another person’s situation (just like the saying “one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.) Always pray before giving advice and ask God to give you the words that will ultimately bring honor to Our Father in Heaven.

“Whatever you do, do it with all your heart as The Lord and not as man”. -Colossians 3:2

The Love of Family

by Georgia Kent

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer”. -Psalms 19:14

‘Family’ is the only relationships that we do not choose. We are born with them. Families can be complicated and messy, even the best ones have challenges. They can be the source of great joy and the cause of tremendous pain. They are often the most difficult relationships that we encounter in our lives journey.

In God’s ultimate wisdom, He gave us the family that we have and He never does things in our lives by accident. There is a purpose for their presence in our lives. He wants us to have a healthy, well-balanced relationships that are pleasing in the sight of God.

Love is tender, but it is also practical and often stern. Love wants what’s best even if it’s hard to understand. Pacifying and giving into the wrong demands is not love. It is difficult to walk the line between loving without enabling, but with God’s grace, we can learn how to tread through the waters of all the family dynamics in a loving and healthy way.

“Lord, thank you for the priceless gift of family. Please give me the wisdom and clarity to manage a healthy relationship with my family. Overwhelm my heart with the love for them and help me to be a God like example at all times. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”

Use Our Mouths for Good

by Kim McDougal

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” – Proverbs 15:1,2 KJV

Some things just don’t need to be said. For instance, when my hubby would forget to turn out the lights in the bathroom after he was finished, I would find the lights on and grumble, “why didn’t he turn off the lights?!” All I need to do is turn out the lights. We forget things sometimes, and he doesn’t intentionally leave them on to get me upset! But, I had a bad habit of speaking out like that and I’ve since learned that my mouth is something I have to tame. If I go to hubby and tell him off about the bathroom lights, it won’t be long before we’re in an argument. And over what? It’s not that serious! Now, I know that’s a simple example. You may have had a situation where it’s much more intense and you’ve had to control what you say to keep the situation from getting out of hand.

The truth is we are emotional beings. And, we have to be careful to search ourselves when we’re about to say something. Our words have life folks. We can speak life into someone as much as we can speak death and we can speak life or death in our own lives. Our passage today says, “a soft answer turns away wrath…” All this means is “take time to consider your response BEFORE you speak.” Will your words harm or help that person? Will they be able to receive what you’re saying and try to make positive changes?, OR will they walk away in disgust? It’s so important that our mouths are used to edify (uplift, build up, encourage) others and glorify (praise, give the credit to) God. When I think of all the people in prisons, how many of them are there because their anger and words turned deadly? God understands that we are emotional, He just cautions us not to let the negative emotions overwhelm us.

And what about using our mouths to speak wisdom? The second half of our scripture talks about this. Wisdom comes from God. When we take our time to speak what God would have us say, we’re speaking and using His knowledge correctly. We’re not just saying whatever we want with no regard to how those words will be received. Think about it…how do you respond to words spoken? Do you want someone to speak down to you, in a scornful way? Or, do you like someone to speak to you with genuine love and concern? Even if I have to hear something hard to deal with, I’d rather it come through love and support. So, let us pray earnestly everyday that we take more time to consider our words BEFORE we speak.

 

 

Speaking with Grace

by Sis. Georgia Kent

“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt that ye may know how to answer every man”. Colossians 4:6

It is often said that there is no second chance to make a first impression! ‘Grace’ is such a lovely word. I often tell women that we are often defined by the way that we speak to others. Every girl can be a women but it takes ‘Grace’ to be a Lady. What comes out of our mouths is a reflection of what’s in our heart.

About a year ago God begin to speak to my heart about being a good steward of my Words. I began with teaching myself to always take a moment to respond to conversation and also, to be a better listener. I tried to think of what words would give honor to God and also honor to me as a woman of God. I tried to never join in gossip groups or to even listen to what sounded like gossip. Yes, we are held accountable for not only what we say but also for what we listen to.

After a year of applying this I can honestly say that with God’s help, I feel like a lady that now speaks with grace. It has uncluttered my mind with worries about saying the wrong things and it has opened my heart to see the goodness in others.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” Psalms 19:14

Grumbling, Part I

by Sis. Kim McDougal

“And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death.” – I Corinthians 10:10 (NLT)

Life isn’t fair at times. We all have stories of being hurt or disappointed. Some of us have even grown up in terrible circumstances. But when God gets a hold of us, if we allow Him He can and will return us to a state of joy and contentment EVEN in the midst of turmoil. However, what undoes all God’s plans for us is when we use our mouths to grumble, complain, and even speak negatively about our life and spreading that to those around us. Grumbling is literally slapping the Hand of God when He’s trying to encourage us to return to joy. He didn’t promise that we wouldn’t have trouble in this life, but what He did promise is that He’ll always be with us. He is able to deal justice, able to heal from the inside out, able to encourage and lift up our spirits…and the key to this IF we let Him.

Words have life whether you’re speaking positive or negative. You affect those around you with your words especially if you’re raising children. They mimic what they see you do and say. If you’re holding in a lot of bitterness and you speak that, how do you think that might affect them or your friends and family? Grumbling left unchecked and not dealt with can leave you in state of destruction. And God doesn’t want that for you or I.

Today, are you holding some anger in, maybe for years? Or, maybe you’re struggling to forgive someone for hurting you, perhaps you’ve had some horrific life experiences and it’s left you hurting. Whatever state you find yourself in, let God in. Talk to Him and give Him your pain. And most importantly, heed the call of our scripture and do not grumble.