THE GRATEFUL HEART (DAY 13)
The Grateful Heart is a two-week long devotional series dedicated to guiding women towards finding a grateful heart during difficult seasons of life and equipping them with the tools they need to take back their joy.
Taming a Wild Tongue
The tongue has the power of life and death,and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)
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)
The world was created with the words of our God speaking it into existence. In a single moment, as He commanded light to come forth, the expanse of our universe was instantly illuminated (Genesis 1-3). Life was brought forth by the words of His mouth and the breath of His lungs. His very Word is the living and breathing guide to our lives as we seek Him in it all (Hebrews 4:12). Jesus also knew the power of His words when Lazarus had passed away. After several days of his body lying in a tomb, Jesus approached it and commanded that “Lazarus come forth!” (John 11:38-44).
That power resides in us! When we accept Jesus as our Savior and allow the Holy Spirit to transform our lives, our bodies become a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). As the Holy Spirit works in and through us we are given the authority and power to do great works to build His Kingdom (Luke 10:19). We are given the power necessary for taming a wild tongue.
I know that I am so guilty sometimes of letting my emotions rule my mouth. I can find myself tangled in a web of sadness, anxiety or frustration and try to keep it silent only to accidentally let it explode all over the next unsuspecting person that is cross with me.
Am I the only one?
I can feel in that moment like I need to explain what’s going on, that I need to grapple for justification in a wrong I may have been dealt, or even that I just need to stand up for myself. I say what I think I need to say, walk away, and immediately I feel the wave of heated guilt sweep over me. What did I just do? What did I just tell them? What is going to happen now?
I know that there is a time and place for needing to stand up for what is right. I know that it is unhealthy to suppress our emotions. But today, let’s pray about and consider ways that we have been called to use our words. And, the ways that we can turn it over to the One who is really able to do what no one else can in our situation.
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for a man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
I think one of the greatest things that we can consider when trying to decipher how to navigate what we want to be in our hearts, in our minds and coming out of our mouths is to remember the value of having heart integrity. No time that I have ever let my words come across in anger, pride, or being used to tear someone down and found it worth the shame or the guilt of the aftermath.
It was not worth knowing I may have hurt another person or the knowledge that I had tried to take things into my own hands. In addition, rarely do I stop to think about how much what is going on will really matter in the scheme of things. Will I think that this is important a year from now? A month from now? A week from now?
Today, before we say a word, let’s consider these three checkpoints:
- Is it loving or kind?
- Does it build this person up?
- If I am having to confront an issue, will this have eternal value or is this a momentary issue?
What a joy is would be to know our words are lifting up and shaping the world around us for His glory! Let’s be daughters that speak life. Let us be the ones when no one else will that can step in and speak through Him in us. Let us speak encouragement, speak love, and speak life into that which was not as if it were. Let us be bold together.