Since the last time we talked, I’ve decided to add a few important points.  We previously mentioned “thought habits” because they dictate our speech and actions based on what we spend our time thinking about.  As a silly example of my stubborn “I’d rather do this my way, don’t tell me what to do” thinking, rather embarrassing really, may I present the following true story:

My stacks were much neater, but you get the idea!

My former mother-in-law, God bless her, always told me how much better I’d feel if I’d just do the dishes as we dirtied them instead of letting them stack up for days at a time. I, in my slovenly little mind, thought it was easier to put them in such nice, neat, lovely organized stacks, and then, when I had time, I’d wash them!  When I got ready!  By the time I got “ready” though, there were so MANY of them, they began to feel like an incredible weight around my neck after every meal. Well, being the great procrastinator and rebellious, newly married young woman that I was, and pregnant besides, I was still not willing to listen to her incredibly good advice!  So, I waited, sometimes days before tackling them and, of course, it was a monumental chore, taking hours to get them all washed, much less put away!! (I had to rest in the middle, don’t ya know!).  You can only imagine how much worse it got when we started having kids!

Well, it wasn’t until I was in the middle of my unwanted divorce that I willingly learned a valuable lesson while working at McDonald’s of all places! Wash as you go and put everything back in the prescribed location so it will be there for the next person’s use!  (And no, the dishes were not the reason for the divorce, but I’m sure they may have figured into it some way or other.)

Although I am profoundly more adept at doing dishes now, sooner rather than later, than I was then, I still struggle with them, and a lot of other household chores among other things, but I at least know why I do what I do, or don’t do, and I know how to fix it!  Determining to take control of my life to agressively combat passivity, one of the greatest, most deceptive tools of the enemy keeping men and women of good faith from doing what they should, is part of the issue.  Perhaps we’ll discuss this more in a future post, but I did want to mention it here in case you too might have conflicts in this area.  Passivity keeps many of us from accomplishing all that we could in life and hinders our being at peace and having contentment in the Lord.  It is a thief of the highest order and it takes much determination to overcome!  It can be done and it starts with our thoughts, which is why I believe our thought life is so important!!

Well, if our thoughts are so important, what’s next?  OUR MOUTHS!!

Yup, you were waiting for that one weren’t you?  Oh, yes you were, I can tell!!

What are we talkin’ about!

Our mouths can cause more damage, or create more good than any one thing on this planet.  We all talk all day everyday to several people:  family members, acquaintances, coworkers, strangers on the street or at the store, gas station, bars, restaurants, etc. and I’ll bet most folks have no clue what God has to say about what goes on with our mouth.  The Bible, in Proverbs 18:21 The Amplified Version, says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in  it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].”  Then, “For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.”  Matthew 12:37 The Amplified Version.

Boy, oh boy, if that wasn’t heavy duty enough, you should check out the book of James, one of my favorites, which just tells it like it is!  James 3:5-6 The Message says  5-6It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.”   Wow!  Gotta love James! He gets right to the heart of the problem.

I’m sure we all have plenty of examples from our lives of bad or good things happening while our tongues have been in action.  I certainly have and barely remember any, mores the pity!  But here’s the thing.  We can control what comes out of our mouths, most of the time.  If we want to cope with what life throws at us, we take control over what goes into our brains, what we meditate on and believe in our hearts, so that when those demanding times come at us, we can talk right (or not talk at all!!!) and not make a much bigger mess of things!

Joyce Meyer

As Joyce Meyer says in a recent tweet: “Your thoughts become your words; your thoughts become your actions. Your thoughts become your life.”

Another word of wisdom from Joel Osteen:  “If we want to experience God’s best, we must learn to take responsibility for our thoughts, words, attitudes and actions. How can you improve in these areas?” 

Joel and Victoria Osteen

Well, that’s a great question!  Becoming more aware of what comes out of our mouths is crucial to putting a stop to much of the negative stuff we speak.  Asking God to help us by putting a watch over our mouths so that we don’t sin against Him will help too.  Several years ago, God dealt with me pretty harshly about my mouth during a serious family issue that was taking place and He showed me that I had allowed my mouth to say a lot of unkind things to and about the people I cared for the most.  I knew how important it was to speak right things, but somehow I’d forgotten, lost focus or just didn’t care enough to “shut up” I guess.   He reminded me that they were His children and the authority to criticize or judge them was not mine.  That was His job and since they were His kids and part of His family as I was, it would behoove me to love them and be supportive with my mouth.  Difficult lesson??  Oh yeah!!!!  Easy to put into action?  Not so much.  But I’m doing better, and that’s a good thing.

Since then, I’ve learned that God has given His children the right and ability through Jesus to do the same things He did.  He spoke the world and all that’s in it into existence.  He spoke and things happened just as He said they would.  Since we are created in His image, and His words are creative, likewise, He’s given us the ability to create with our tongues too.  We can create life, or death.  When we criticize, complain, judge, belittle, etc., we are bringing death.  But when we speak encouraging, loving, inviting, healthy words, we bring life to the person or situation we’re speaking to.  That really makes God happy and then, He blesses us!   I spoke words of death to many of my family members for years and am reaping the consequences.  But, God is good and delivered me when I repented and asked Him to help me “turn off the flow”!!!

If you are facing some difficult situations right now, it may be that changing your thought and speaking habits might make all the difference in the outcome!  Try it!  You have nothing to lose but death, and everything to gain!  Once again, choose life!