Last week, I received several notes/emails of encouragement. Please don’t think I’m fishing for a compliment or kind word and flood my inbox or mailbox. It was an odd week in that regard. I get sprinkles of encouragement, but last week was a downpour and for no obvious reason on the senders’ parts.
The senders had no idea that their words of encouragement would be a healing balm to my soul, but they were.
It caused me to stop and think of how poor at doing that I am. Words have such power. They can build up or they can tear down. I have had my share of the tear down kind and I don’t like them. I’ll be honest, I loathe them. All words come out as a reflection of what’s in the heart. When the tear down words are said or written, the intent of the mouth’s heart goes out. Whoever has a heart, has a mouth and they are connected!
I could say that every time I speak, blue birds fly around my head chirping and singing their tune while tying my princess sash because nothing but sunshine-happy-positive words come out, but I would be…lying!
Oh boy, the times I have rued how rude my heart was in its typed and/or spoken words. It’s impossible to forget what I said and my attitude in the moment. Even after asking for forgiveness on some of those I replay my nastiness over and over and over. I think that if it’s so easy for me to recognize and remember the harsh words that came from me, surely the receiver is struggling more than I to trust me, love me, and forgive me.
Facebook is a place where you can truly see the heart typed out in status updates that range anywhere from exalting God, encouraging “friends”, being crass and crude, and belittling others with a critical spirit’s tongue (keyboard).
Mary Kassian has a fabulous study entitled, Conversation Peace, that shows the biblical perspective on our hearts and their words and what the Bible teaches us about this very problem.
In Isaiah, we read in chapter 6 about his vision of God in the temple and how, next to God’s holiness, he saw his own sin of his unclean lips and was so mournful. I titled that chapter, “Wow is God, woe is me!”
It doesn’t stop with harsh criticisms. Nope. Gossip is another mouth issue, literally. Here’s yet one more; sharing burdens with others before talking them over with God or only God.
We must choose how to use our mouths. Will we bless with them or will we curse with them (not just nasty cusses but tearing down words, too)?
Ultimately, it comes down to our hearts.
Instead of saying, “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, come sit by me.” We need to go back and look at what the Bible says about our mouths and their motives.
What’s your best Bible verse that helps you curb this tendency with its conviction?