The Words of Our Mouth

3 Oct

The Words of Our Mouth.

Words. . .

Ever wish you could take back words you said?

Do find yourself lying awake, mulling over a conversation and thinking about what you should have said?

In frustration, has your child spewed out something awful at you or a sibling?

For over a week, it seems these sorts of issues have popped up in my world. It started with wishing I had not been such an outspoken passenger while my son drove us around in Florida, informing him of when the speed limits changed etc. Then a few days ago, I overheard my 2 1/2 year old grandson yell at his older brother, “I don’t like you!” Next, I took a break Saturday night to watch a movie—Mars Needs Moms. This cute flick opens with nine-year-old Milo saying something terrible to his mom, sending her away in tears. Finally to top the week off, yesterday my son Josiah shared a great message titled, “Words of Our Mouths.”

Ya, think God is trying to tell me something?Do you relate? By the mere fact that you’re a mom tells me that you do.

Words are tremendously powerful. They have the power to tear down or to bring healing.The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit, (Proverbs 18:21). If our words are rash, manipulative, or ungrateful, we have the power to bring harm to those we love. Our words can even do damage when on the surface they sound good. We may say thanks, but inside we’re jealous or grumbling against someone. Each day thousands of words flow out of our mouths, but we’re clueless to their effect on ourselves and others, especially those we love the most, i.e. our children.

Borrowing from my son’s message, and some things God has spoken to my heart, let’s talk about how to control our tongues.
  • Store up good things in your heart. Our words reflect what’s inside. Whatever we store up in our hearts—anxiety, bitterness, frustration, fear—will sooner or later come spewing out.

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him, (Matthew 12:34-35).

This takes hard work. It’s sometimes easier to look at problems, rather than solutions and good things. Knowing this, we must make a conscious effort to change our thoughts and stop ourselves before those notions come to the surface. This may mean that we have to confess some pretty ugly things to God and someone we trust so that we find healing. Suppressing our thoughts only causes a buildup that will soon explode like a burning volcano. If we want to make room for good thoughts, the junk has to come out.
  • Look on the bright side. Ask the right questions. In most situations I tend to look at all the problems. Timothy frequently admonishes me about this habit. My excuse has always been that I’m trying to ward off difficulties before they occur. This type of thinking keeps me from making decisions and it waste time. I’m consciously trying to work on this, by asking the right questions and stating things positively.
For example, instead asking, “What if it doesn’t work out?” ask, “What’s next when it works out?” Rather than looking at the problems and what could go wrong, look at the benefits. Practicing the spiritual discipline of thanksgiving can help us look at“whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things, (Philippians 4:8). Then our words become a well spring of life, not confusion and discouragement.
  • Slow down. Think before you speak. This takes practice and prayer. We tend to have knee-jerk reactions to situations, but it’s our careless words that tend to get us in trouble (Matt. 12:36). Filling our hearts up with good and noble thoughts can assure that at least what comes out won’t do harm. One way to learn how to do this is discuss why you said something rash.
When my grandsons were arguing their mom and I talked about having them discuss how they felt. Big brother was doing something to make little brother shout “I don’t like you!” Now I’m not condoning the little guy’s behavior or anger. However, having the chance to say why he doesn’t like his brother at the moment can help him think about his words. Instead of shouting, he can learn to say, “Please stop teasing me.”
  • Simply “yes” or “no.” This is another reminder that I frequently receive from my hubby. He says I “speak in paragraphs” and totally confuse him. Jan Johnsonstates that she realized that her “wordiness revealed a lack of trust that God would work without (her) help. While communication is important, talking has its limits. It doesn’t work if our goal is to express ourselves rather than create space for God’s grace to flow” (Abundant Simplicity). When I bottom-line things, without telling a long explanation, we tend to accomplish a lot more, and life is much more peaceful. Instructing children with short, simple statements helps them understand what we expect more than a long lengthy lecture.

For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. (1 Peter 3:10)

Today on Moms Together, let’s share our struggles with taming our tongue. As my son Josiah said yesterday, it’s a small part of the body, but it’s the strongest and certainly has the greater workout. Leave a comment either here or on MomsTogether for a chance to winA Way with Words by Christin Ditchfield.

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