Our words are so powerful. They can lift people up, or they can tear them down.
I was having a bad day at work. I was stressed and had a headache. A co-worker gave me some ibuprofen, and I was counting down the minutes until my shift was over. I love my job, and this was the first bad day I’d had in a long time.
I am a RN. I spend a great deal of time talking to patients on the phone. Shortly after taking the Motrin, my phone rang. I answered it and was having a productive conversation with the patient, when all of a sudden, the patient became angry and started complaining and cursing at me. I tried to use my words to show empathy and compassion to the patient, but she just didn’t hear them. I hung up the phone stunned. I remember thinking, “My brain is fried—how am I going to go home and write my submission for the LIO?”
On the way home from work, I called a dear friend and asked her to pray for me. She reminded me of God’s perfect timing. She told me, “You have a choice to make, you can go home and be grumpy to your family, or you can use this as an example in the LIO of how words can really affect others.”
I thought, “OK, God, couldn’t you have just given me the words to write without me having to experience the effects of unkind and nasty words?” I decided I should pray for the patient and surrendered the whole incident to God. I made the decision to go home and be sweet and kind to my husband. I chose not to let hurtful words ruin my day.
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
When our hearts are full of love and kindness, our words will reflect our hearts. Likewise, if our hearts are full of bitterness and anger, our words will reflect our hearts. I have to be really careful about what I focus on. When I focus on everything that irritates me and angers me, I become bitter and angry. My words and behaviors reflect what is in my heart, and it isn’t pretty. I do not want to live my life this way.
I want my words and my life to honor God. I have learned that my quiet time with Jesus and focusing on all his blessings helps me to live a life that honors God. My time in the Word, praying, and praising him puts my heart in the right place. It draws me closer to Jesus, fills me with gratitude, and gives Jesus time to work on my heart. In other words, time with Jesus helps me to use my words in a kind and loving way.
How has this series helped you to reflect on your words before you speak? How can time with Jesus affect your words?
Read and meditate on Luke 6:45. Read it in several different Bible versions. Spend time with Jesus daily and ask him to help your heart be full of love and peace. Ask for your words to reflect his love.
Jesus, I am so overwhelmed with gratitude that the God of the universe wants to have a relationship with me. I am so grateful that I can sit in your presence and be changed. Help me, Lord, to have a heart full of your love and goodness. Help my words to reflect your love for others. Help me control the words that come out of my mouth. Please forgive me when my words hurt others and dishonor you. Lord, help me to live a life that brings you glory. Amen.
This post was written by Marsha Raymond. Marsha has been happily married to her husband, Jeff, for 30 years. They have two grown sassy and fearless daughters. She loves spending time with God, her family and friends, reading, riding bicycles, yoga and walking.
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