I have a confession to make. I am prone to speaking my mind. I have learned that without careful cultivation, speaking one’s mind can be a very dangerous and injurious thing to do.
Many years ago a friend once gave me the nickname of “Rambo”. This was not a compliment. And over time I came to realize that speaking my mind was no longer a trait I desired. In reading God’s Word I came to know that in order to create lasting change it would require more than just the discipline of “taming the tongue”. A more permanent change would require continuous Heartworks and Soulworks with God; as He renews daily my mind and my heart.
In Psalm 19:14, David prays, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” David clearly knew the importance of words, and so he prayed that he would speak words that were pleasing to God. Would it surprise you to know that Psalm 19:14 is my most referenced action verse. I have it pasted and posted strategically to remind me that my heart requires constant vigilance. But do you know what is most interesting. A majority of the time it is not my words (from my heart) that have spilled over; but I have reacted (Rambo) to the words of others (their heart).
I confess that I am still prone to reacting to the hurtful words of others. You can guess what happens next~ it is my reaction (a stronghold) that becomes the focus of contention. Yes, contention and contempt – hurtful and ugly words. Does this ever happen to you? Do you allow the hurtful words of others (their heart) to then become a backlash in defense with your words of – “how dare you? And then suddenly – the Rambo…blah…blah…blah…blah. Does that ever happen to you?
It is no surprise that the Bible instructs us to say beneficial things about others: “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 Furthermore, Colossians 4:6 instructs us to, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt …” Speaking positive, uplifting words is extremely important. And to polish it off in Proverbs 25:11 , “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” I really like this verse and these words – “apples of gold in settings of silver”. Don’t you?
I have learned that it is important to understand that whatever you say is a reflection of your heart attitude. Beloved, did you hear that? I mean, did you really hear that? Mathew 12:34 speaks to us, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (also Luke 6:45). According to God, our words are simply an overflow of what’s in our heart. If we think poorly about others, we will speak poorly about them. On the other hand, if we think positively about others, as Gods Word instructs us to, then we will speak positively about them.
Every word we say will have an effect on others. Positive words will encourage and strengthen other people, but negative words will tear down and harm them. We must decide whether to speak positively or negatively. Speaking positively can sometimes require a deliberate decision if our Heartwork is not complete; whereas speaking negatively comes easily—for it is human nature.
Do you know that we will one day have to make an account for our words? I don’t know about you but this one gets my attention. “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak. For by our words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned”. (Mathew 12:36,37)
We must deliberately choose to speak positive words; otherwise, we will instinctively complain and be negative—for that is also our human nature. It is no surprise that Ecclesiastes 5:2 tells us, “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” Similarly, Proverbs 10:19 says, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Usually when you “hold” your tongue, you’ll catch yourself before you say nasty things about others and cut them down with your words.
But it is not just the outward speaking we want to contain. God’s goal for us is to change our hearts. Heartworks is continuous and we have precious tools to use as God molds us into the completion of His likeness.
Today I will in humility meditate and cut and paste for strategically posting Proverbs 10:19, 20. A defense, for those times of temptation and Rambo reaction, to the unfinished Heartworks of others. My own Heartworks is to pray and speak only words that are pleasing to God. Words carry power, and each day we make a decision to use our words as building blocks or battering rams. It is my heart’s desire to use my words to build up the hearts and minds of others; especially in reaction to harmful words.
Most merciful and patient Father, change my heart completely so that my reactions become more like you and I simply turn my cheek to the hurtful and harmful words of others. Keep me prudent and my tongue righteous as choice silver in you. ~ Amen :Y
“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is of little worth.” (Proverbs 10: 19, 20)