God's Roadmap

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:10 NASB).

Sunday, March 5, 2017

National Words Matter Week

by Barbara Latta

The second week of March commemorates National Words Matter Week.
Words are a natural part of our lives. It’s hard to imagine going through one day without saying a single thing. That’s why it is so important to have good communication coming out
Taunts like "sticks and stones" can hurt.
of our mouths.

Sticks and stones
Most of us grew up hearing taunts spit at us by other children on the playground. The usual response would be “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” While that sounds like a clever retort, nothing could be further from the truth. A wound made by a stick or stone can heal and later is forgotten, but words can stab at our hearts leaving a painful opening in our soul.

Wounded people wound others. Barriers are formed and violent responses created when we hear harsh words against us. We can apologize for thoughtless comments, but the hurtful words remain behind and can’t be taken back.

Negative words bring negative circumstances. Jesus said, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23).
We will have what we say.

If we are constantly criticizing, complaining, and condemning we will get the fruit of those things in return. But if we will believe what the Bible says and use God’s words even in the face of storms and trials, we will reap a godly harvest.

My thoughtless comments
I have more instances than I care to remember where I have used words in the wrong way. A cynical comment in reply to my husband, impatient outbursts toward the children, or sassy retorts targeted at drivers or sales people all add up to deposits in the negative bank.

A particular incident I remember was during a scenic tour of the mountains when we stopped to eat at a local restaurant. At the end of our meal I chose a dessert, but when it was served it wasn’t what I had ordered. I let the waitress know in my how dare you bring this to me” voice that it was wrong. It was such an unimportant thing that I let become something that hurt someone and especially hurt the image of the Christ who died for me. I know God forgave me, but I left behind some words I couldn’t take back.

Words and wars
Wars have been started because of words. Peace has been accomplished through the
Wars have started because of words.
spoken or written word. History has been altered because of rash, impulsive comments and treaties signed when control was exerted.

This quote by Roy Williams says it all, "Words start wars and end them, create love and choke it, bring us to laughter and joy and tears. Words cause men and women to willingly risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Our world, as we know it, revolves on the power of words."

Not only do we need to watch our words to others, we need to speak positively over ourselves. Constantly hearing our own mouth put ourselves down poisons our soul and our image of ourselves suffers. We start to doubt God's power in our lives.

Recording verses which use the phrase "in him" or "through Him" and meditating on these promises give us the image God has about us. We need to agree with His Word concerning our inheritance. When the promises are ingrained into our soul our behavior will reflect our beliefs and will spill over into relationships. We are less likely to have thoughtless outbursts about others, situations, or ourselves.

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). If our hearts are right, our mouths will be, too.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts about National Words Matter Week.

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