Lately, I’ve been thinking about doing this specific blog because this is a specific problem I have – my mouth. Our mouths are the most dangerous, lethal weapons in the world. We have the power to uplift, encourage, strengthen, enlighten but we also have the power to sadden, discourage, and evoke fear, hate and other negative emotions in others.
Usually, it’s responding to comments, criticism and concerns that tests our tongues. We are told such negative things at times and don’t know how to respond, even with constructive criticism. The Bible says “death and life are in the power of the tongue,” (Prov. 18:21) both physical and spiritual death and life.
What does the Bible say about speech?
1. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. – Psalm 19:14
Our words should be acceptable to God; He should not be saddened or grieved by the words we speak. TIP: It helps many to count to 10 before speaking, and imagining how the other person would feel before responding. Remember to imagine the outcome and do this especially when altercations arise.
How do we know our words are acceptable to God?
- Bible-speech. As you grow try learning certain scriptures each day, and use them in your daily speech, adding them to your tongue as your life progresses. This is something I just started doing and it’s actually pretty fun! Using cue cards or a small notebook to hold these scriptures will be helpful throughout the day.
- Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Paul tells us we must think about things which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report (admirable), and praise-worthy. I’m telling you to say such things.
- Complimentary. Giving someone a compliment makes quite a huge difference in the way they see you. Get into the habit of complimenting people, aim for giving out free compliments at least 5 times a day. Be careful not to appear as fawning, they’ll think you want something from them and possibly run away with their wallets tucked underneath their armpits. No, I’m not speaking from experience…
2. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29
Do you just have those days when you’re in such a bad mood that even if a kitten crossed your path you’d feel the need to turn away and grunt? We all have bad mood days it’s when it affects others where these days become infectious.
Sometimes, I may be in a bad mood and one of my friends are walking around extra-jolly and peppy. It makes me want to strangle myself because I’m an envious Mr. Grinch. Because Mr. Grinch was so grumpy he tried to make others grumpy and he focused more on the negative than on the positive. We can all get like Mr. Grinch from time to time, we’re HUMAN but we can’t stay in that negative attitude, we’ll only bring others down with us.
TIP: Start thinking about all the things that make you happy. Reminisce on the good ‘ole days, you know, before you turned into a green frowny face. Lastly, learn to react based on facts instead of emotions. (This one is especially for me!)
3. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. – Colossians 3:8
There are four things to focus on here – anger, hatred, gossip, and cursing. Of course, even if you’re a Christian you will still have remnants of these. It’s important not to materialize and vocalize these. You’re expected to be angry at people, but hatred should be highly avoided. Remember that God rules over everything and everyone; if someone has done you wrong, leave it to God.
Gossiping is addictive. Women and men are guilty of this (yes, men are great gossipers). Remember to build up your brothers and sisters, speak to them directly instead of speaking about them to other people.
I was never too big on cursing, although at some point I had started to adopt some curse words. Fortunately, I don’t curse anymore. It’s a habit that may be hard to break, but it is breakable. TIP: use substitutions for curse words, it helps a lot to break the habit.
Try following these tips this week. Next week I will post Part Two which focuses on specific responses to questions/insults common these days.