Challenged and Changed

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I’ve heard it said, “If you don’t know your purpose, you’ll be distracted by the voices.” The same principle applies to the purpose of our words. Oh, how I wish I had this perfected. But I don’t. My words still put me to shame sometimes. It is only by the grace of God that I can speak in ways that honor God.

Without God’s intervention my sparky emotions can become a destructive force just looking for a place to happen. Especially with my family. But thankfully, God helps me when I look to Him. And when I go off track, the Lord convicts me… reminds me that I am His… that His Spirit is within me, and that His plan for me is greater. And that He forgives. (Thank you, Jesus!)

I’m challenged and changed by the love of Jesus. My words should be too.

The Bible has a lot to say about the ways we should use our words…

To ENCOURAGE – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV).

To WORSHIP – “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:1-5 ESV).

To TEACH – “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26 NIV).

To PROTECT – “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity” (Proverbs 21:23 NIV).

To CONNECT – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6 NIV).

To CALM – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV).

A tongue that’s led by the flesh falls easily into speaking destruction, corruption, or gossip. A tongue that takes its cues from the leading of the Holy Spirit does not. Period.

The prophet Isaiah recognized the importance of his words. “The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary” (Isaiah 50:4 NIV). I read this and begin to ask God for a well-instructed tongue.

Recognizing his personal limitations but God’s limitlessness, Isaiah also wrote this, “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame” (Isaiah 50:7 NIV).

Scripture points us to speak in ways that honor Christ, reflect His grace, echo His love, build others up and make much of Him. Paul encouraged the believers in Ephesus to, “…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1 ESV) Today let’s determine to know our word-purpose and TALK in a way worthy of our calling.

 

Dear Lord, Please help me choose my words wisely today. Instruct my tongue. Lead me to build others up and to worship You continually. Keep me from causing harm to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

What one practical thing can you do today to “talk” worthy of your calling?

Read Psalm 19:14. What two things does the psalmist pray for here? Spend time praying or writing in your journal about what God’s calling you to with this.

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