Happy Friday friends! Can you believe it? Next week we will be entering June. 2020 is passing by quickly yet, it is making a lasting impression on the world. We have experienced many things we never could have imagined a year ago. However, I think it has reinforced the thought of being ready and prepared for anything. And with that thought, let’s talk about this concept when it comes to the mouth.
In Matthew 15:11 the bible reminds us to be careful what comes out of our mouth because our words can tarnish, corrupt, and ruin. Most of us are quite aware of the power of words. As we mature in Christ, we strive to listen more and talk less. We intentionally choose to be engaged in conversations by being fully present and just listening instead of being so concerned with what we may say in response. (For me, that takes some Holy Spirit reliance)
But let’s visit the subject of casual chit chat slyness of the devil. He knows how to tap into your anger, sore spots, self-esteem, and emotions. Trust me when I say he is looming in the shadows of social media, zoom meetings, emails, etc. He loves to stir the pot and have people point out things that seem to be a direct hit at you. Innocent yet uncomfortable for the most part.
No matter the comment, smirk, sarcasm, or crafty comeback, it hurts! Makes you feel weird and downright uncomfortable. Well, why don’t we see these things coming? —because it is our family, friends, close community, church, etc. and it is never expected around those who love us or so we would hope. Yes, the enemy knows that too! So, guess where he likes to attack? Among the ones that we hold near and dear to our hearts in order to destroy relationships and tear down your trust. He definitely doesn’t want us building relationships especially in the church because that might just mess up his plans.
Therefore, we have to be ready for these situations. Ephesians 4:29 states, “Let no corrupt communication process out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Plan for the sly comments, “innocent” darts, and the hurt. How? By adopting the mind of Christ and willing to allow the Holy Spirit to lead. Be very quick to extend grace and to have words of love and gratitude ready on your lips. Choose ahead of time to respond with an extension of God’s authority and not your own. (This challenges me beyond my own abilities and trust me the post may be for my benefit only!) We even have to learn how to refrain from being a sandpaper person too. Our words are so important.
I have had to learn how to go to my inside voice and immediately say, “I bring my mind and mouth under your authority Oh Lord. Help me smile and extend your love.” No, I haven’t lost my mind. It works! There have been times when people unexpectedly lash out and I have had to choose God’s way quickly. It is difficult to stay calm and find God’s strength to exercise self-control. It is one of the hardest temptations to overcome because my insides want to lambaste in more ways than one. But God’s love works in mysterious ways. (Do not misunderstand what I am saying. I am not asking you to take abuse. If you are being abused get help.)
So, choose your words today. Plan for the incidents. Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment every time your mouth opens its door. Think about the words you give and the responses you will utter. (Maybe a quarantine mask isn’t all so bad! Perhaps God wants us to pay more attention to what “goes in the body and out of the body” than germs!)
I know it is an old cliché — but seriously, What Would Jesus Do?