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Watch your mouth! It is a constant reminder to myself. The difficulty of controlling the words of my mouth and my love of food! Both seem to always have a grip on me! Being on what seems like a forever diet, I have been paying a lot of attention lately to what goes INTO my mouth. I have been counting calories and being extremely stingy with what I eat!
It is a seemingly constant monitoring of goes INTO my mouth. But I began thinking about what comes OUT of my mouth. Psalm 19:14 says:
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” KJV
How are your words?
Watch Your Mouth – How Are You Speaking?
I don’t just mean bad language, because I am the first to admit that I have been known in the past to spew a few words I shouldn’t if I get hurt or frightened badly enough. I am not going to pretend I am perfect! It is something I have to watch for because one stub of the toe and I can almost guarantee a word might try to slip through!
But in this instance, I am talking about things that are not so obviously wrong. I am talking about things that may not even occur to us when we speak. Do words have power? In Proverbs 16:24 it says,
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” KJV
The Hebrew word for ‘health’ here is marpe’ which means healing, health, sound of mind.
Imagine that! God’s Word says that if we speak pleasant words, it is not only sweet like a honeycomb but it offers healing and makes one sound of mind!
I don’t think old Solomon means just for the hearer! I think it gives a sound mind to the speaker as well. Why? Because we avoid saying something we wish we could take back, but can’t.
The words of my mouth have the power to bless or to hurt.
Watch Your Mouth Through a Poisoned Pen
Have you ever written a letter to someone you are upset with or who hurt you in some way? Maybe you have written a letter like that and then read it over and ended up crumpling it and tossing it out? A more modern version would be typing up an email and then before you hit ‘send’ you read it over and delete it. I have also made posts on Facebook when I have been upset about a general issue like politics and then I read it after a bit and delete it because I thought it may have sounded too harsh or I came off as complaining. It’s crumpled paper of a more electronic source but the same concept. When you are writing you have the luxury of reading it over again and starting over if you don’t like how it sounds. We don’t have that luxury when speaking to someone. We can’t just hit a delete button and take it back. Once it is said, it is said.
Words CAN Harm Me…And You!
We have all heard the childhood saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me!” Well, I disagree with that. Words can have a lasting impact on people and can do a lot of harm. Just look at the effects of bullying in our society today! Words DO harm!
I have had things said to me in the past that caused a lot of pain and heartache! So I feel like God is telling me to make it a practice now to crumple my speech. I should carefully “re-read” what I am about to say in my mind and then “crumple” up anything that is too harsh or too reactive and replace it with something more positive and up-lifting. No one will ever mind if we ask for a moment to consider what we will say next. What they WILL mind is having something said to them that will do the opposite of healing, or giving soundness of mind.
They WILL mind hurt feelings or broken relationship. The power of words can cause us to wound others significantly. We can speak words that uplift and encourage and “heal” instead. Marpe’ also means “profit”. Miriam Webster defines profit as “the advantage or benefit that is gained from doing something”. So we gain an advantage by speaking words of kindness and sweetness. It goes along the lines of ‘you catch more flies with honey than vinegar’!
Do You Watch Your Mouth When Speaking to Yourself?
This is not just about others. It is also about what we speak to ourselves. The power of words! What we continually speak over ourselves comes to pass because we believe it to be true so we act as though it were.
You can easily get into agreement with what the enemy wants you to think about yourself rather than getting into agreement with what God’s Word says about you! You act with a lack of confidence in yourself and that will flow over into whatever you do! It is a self-fulfilling prophecy! So choose words that uplift you! Choose to see yourself the way God sees you and speak over yourself what the Bible says about you, by the power of His Word not ours! So I challenge you this week to begin crumpling your speech a bit and… “speak only what is wise and kind” (Proverbs 31:26) to others AND yourself!
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