“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” — Proverbs 18:21
I have a confession: I’m a bit of a perfectionist about some things. Thus, I can be critical of others and myself. Until the Lord showed me the problem, I didn’t see it. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” God knew it, I didn’t, but in His great love He showed me.
I asked the Lord to help me be more loving and to stop having such a critical spirit toward others, especially at home with my family. It was amazing how quickly He answered in a very practical way. We were trying to get out the door on time for school one day, but we faced one challenge after another. As I got into the car with my three boys, I think we were all frustrated about the stress of the morning. The critical voice started working overtime in my mind.
The blessing was that the Holy Spirit stepped in. We turned on a Christian radio station. A song was playing with a reminder that while the craziness of life calls, God calls over that for us to come and rest in Him. Those words of life changed my mindset. God gave me an encouraging word for each of my boys. My youngest son took his antibiotic like a tough guy. My middle son helped make his lunch. My oldest son, who got home late from a track meet the night before, had been so excited about his teammates’ accomplishments, so I praised him for being a good teammate and rejoicing in the accomplishments of others.
Words of life. What could have been a frustrating morning was something the Lord used to answer a prayer. He gave me words of life for each of my boys and He spoke words of life to my weary spirit. The enemy always wants to accuse us before God. But God, in His great love, is there to teach us. It may be words of grace seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6), but fundamentally they are words of life.
Remember this thought: Our words matter. Will we allow the Holy Spirit to control our words so that we can speak life where God has us each day?
— Rachel Gibbons
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