They do not come easy for me.
Penning several monthly columns, devotionals for other sites, and my own blog posts is definitely very frustrating. With a couple of learning disabilities, I struggle to craft the right words, but I do it in obedience for, to this, the Lord has called me.
Besides writing, talking is made more difficult because the greedy fingers of fibromyalgia grab at my brain, snatching out words, even the simplest ones, and leaving behind gaps in my memory. Completing a sentence is sometimes impossible.
But do I wrestle to craft those words that will jump off the end of my tongue as much as I wrestle over my writing? Do I think before those words leap out? Usually…but sometimes, I don’t and I get into trouble.
Should I be concerned about finding the right words to say? Jesus says I should, “On the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak…Your words now reflect your fate then: either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.” (Matt. 12:36 Amp, Matt. 12:37 TLB)
Wow! That is truly hard to comprehend, isn’t it? If we are required to answer for our speech, then we need to be cautious of what exits our mouths, for, as Jesus said, “Whatever is in the heart overflows into speech.” (Luke 6:45b TLB)
The English biblical commentator and Presbyterian minister Matthew Henry wrote, “The heart is the root, the language is the fruit.” We cannot have the sweet nectar of a fruitful, positive confession if the root system of our hearts maintains sour or rotten thoughts. A change in the root system will produce a change in the fruit of speech.
Consequently, “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth…and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil].” (Prov. 18:20a NKJV, Prov. 18:20b Amp)
Solomon warns us, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23 Masoretic Text) Another version says, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” (Prov. 4:23 NCV) And will jump off the end of your tongue!
Some say, “I don’t see that my words matter that much.” Well, our words do matter. If our tongues speak from the abundance of our hearts, and if Jesus and Scripture say our words are critical, then, our words really have extraordinary power and effect, embodying life and death, just as Solomon said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Prov. 18:21a NKJV)
The Message version puts it this way, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” So, who in their right mind would choose death over life, poison over fruit? We do!
The words we speak can set our lives on fire for harm or for good. Our words can bring others to tears or lift their spirits. Our words can even change the atmosphere around us.
Therefore, Paul urges us, “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” (Phil. 1:27a KJV) This means we are to behave and speak as a citizen of the Kingdom and worthily reflect on the Gospel.
Knowing the consequences of his thoughts and words, David prayed, “Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips.” (Ps. 141:3 NLT) Therefore, “we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5b GNT)
My prayer is this: Lord, in my word struggle, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Ps. 19:14 NLT)
What about you? Do you struggle to carefully craft those words, taking captive those thoughts, before they roll off the end of your tongue?
***A portion of the above is taken from my upcoming book Ready or Not…Here I Come!
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