Distracted by the Voices

Gwen Smith Blog 57 Comments

I’ve heard it said, “If you don’t know your purpose, you will be distracted by the voices.” The same principle applies to the purpose of our words. 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)

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)

“May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous.” (Psalm 119:171-172)

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

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

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)

To CALM – “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” (Proverbs 26:20)

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” (Titus 3:1)

“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)

A tongue that is 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) 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)

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. Because like Isaiah, He helps me.

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 call to Him. And when I go off track, God convicts me… reminds me that I am His… that His Spirit is within me, and that His plan for me is greater. And He forgives. (Thank you, Jesus!)

I am challenged and changed by the love of Christ.

My words should be too.

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) Today let’s determine to 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’s Name I pray, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Consider Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” What one practical thing can you do today to move your tongue and heart in this direction? Share your “one thing”on the wall of my blog.

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Comments 57

  1. In I Thessalonians 5:18…it reads…” In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”…these steps can be… Thank you Jesus, Praise you Jesus, Bless you Jesus, Glorify your Name Jesus. These are steps to peace.

  2. I’m going to listen more and speak less. And when I do speak, I’m going to be gentle with others especially those in my household. It seems these are the ones who get the brunt of my impatience and frustration which is more to do with myself than what they are doing. I like what another person said, to imagine that God is standing right next to me when I speak, which He is through His Holy Spirit and I do not want to grieve Him. Oh Lord help me today to follow through with all of this with all glory to You.

  3. One practical thing that I can do today to move my tongue and heart to be acceptable in our Lord’s sight is to speak His word and praise Him. Speak the truth more, to speak the truth in a loving way and to encourage those around me.

  4. The one thing I can do today is to reflect on
    Ps 19:14 before anything comes from mouth today.
    To bring Gods word first and mine second or not at all.

  5. Ask God o help me to always be an encouragement to anyone who needs it. And to show God’s love at all times.

  6. If I meditate on Gods word first then my mouth will follow. But if I let my mouth speak first without filling my heart my mouth has no direction.

  7. Right now in this extremely upsetting trying time with my fiance sitting in a prison in another country. My words to the attorney and the friend that went there will stay on the focus of I have to trust God’s will ,God’s timing ,God’s love. That’s all I have right now and that is everything to me. My heart is hurting. dear God please please help

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  8. The one thing I can do today is apply all that I read from this devotion to my life. God had a sweet way of telling me in this simple yet profound devotional that my mouth is a mess (Period.) Today, I am open for change and ready to go from glory to Glory!

    Thanks!

  9. I will try to listen more & before I speak ask myself would I say this if God we’re right next to me, because He hears my response. ❤️

  10. Meditate upon gratefulness, filling my heart with overflowing joy . The words that flow out of my mouth will then be a reflection of the abundant grace that fills my heart.

  11. Just simply to start doing it…. And ask the holy Spirit to always remind us when we try to slip. Ask the holy Spirit to make us aware and sensitive when we go off track! I pray that the Lord will help me to hold my peace I continue to let him fight all the battles! In Jesus name

  12. Gwen, thank you for the reminder to “watch my words”. Today I can ask the Holy Spirit to help me hit the imaginary pause button before I let a reaction fly from my lips. To filter first and speak second. With his help, I can speak gently to my kids even when I feel stressed or frustrated.

  13. I am going to do more listening. When I listen, I am not inclined to be so ready with an answer or retort.

    Thank you for your encouragement this morning. The many scriptures you referenced are powerful reminders of what God desires for our words.

  14. I heard someone say they don’t use WWJD, but instead WDJD! I was perplexed, then the explanation.

    We need to move towards WHAT DID JESUS DO!!!

    HE never spoke unkindly!

    Help us Jesus with our words!

  15. My one thing is cursing. I need to stop and set a better example for my children. I will work on that with God’s help and grace.

    1. Yes. Yes. Yes. Listening to other Christians, I’m beginning to think something is wrong with me thinking cursing is not ok.
      Ty for saying this. I too work on this and feel it is wrong. Thank you!

  16. Stop myself before I speak. I have a bad habit of just saying what comes to mind. If I stop, I will think before and maybe not be so harsh or offensive.

  17. Great reminder! I will Think before I speak today. Compliment my children today instead of speaking at them, not to them in a kind way!

  18. Today I can stop feeling the need to speak to my husband “the way he sometimes speaks to me”. I will forget the “I’ll show you how it feels” mentally and ask God for His grace and patience.

  19. Spoke of only good about others seek the Lord at all times before you speak. Say words of encouragement about each others remove all painful thoughts. Focus on God doing time of sorrows He will lead you to say right things always pray.

  20. I’m sharing this with a friend who has done wrong to me. I still love her, even though I now need to put some distance between us. As much as I want to file a police report (yes, it’s that serious), it will only hurt her in the long run. Would you please pray for her with me? I need prayers too.

  21. I’m sharing this with a friend who has done wrong to me. I still love her, even though I now need to put some distance between us. As much as I want to file a police report (yes, it’s that serious), it will only hurt her in the long run. Would you please pray for her with me?

  22. With Gods help, I going to do less complaining at work about the stress of my job and speak more positively. I need to focus on what I can do better to manage my time and workload.

  23. To allow my grown children to live their lives and I will be all I can and not worry to hard and feel defeated by thier actions and words. I just need the strength to know it’s time to start my life with the LORD plan he has for me.

  24. Instead of saying what I think that could offend someone, I pray for God to do to speak to them. He is always gentler and kinder then I am. This has helped me tremendously in maintaining friendships. Be blessed today!

  25. To own my own emotions/feelings and not take on responsibility for the choices that my grown daughter makes by carefully considering what my responses will be to avoid entering into any conflict.

  26. “What one practical thing can you do today to move your tongue and heart in this direction?”

    Gwen, I can pay close attention to my internal response(s) when others begin to gossip. Do I immediately agree/disgagree without much thought? Am I prompted to participate? This may allow the Holy Spirit time to diffuse the negativity and exit any temptation to add my “two cents”.

  27. I use to tell my daughter, God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. So we’d listen twice as much as we talked. I have to learn to practice what I say, especially when I have my feelings hurt and I want to lash out.

  28. By staying in the word, speaking it out loud and conversing with Him through the Holy Spirit. I am very bold, a warrior but Shy, speaking out loud the words of God has evaded me, until now.
    Thank you for your ministry Gwen,
    In Christ’s Peace,
    Carolyn Gildberg

  29. What happens when I need the words? Who should be there to give me the encouraging words? My last pastor, didn’t come and see me or call when I had my open heart surgery I was completely dismayed. The people around me are not Christians, so where do I go?

  30. My “one thing” is to stop BEFORE I speak and send a prayer for help and guidance…and, then allow the Holy Spirit to guide my tongue and my words.

  31. After reading this post, I am convicted because I know I shame God on many occasions by the words I sometimes speak followed by my actions. I allow my emotions to take over. One thing I can do to move my tongue and heart in the right direction is to first ask the Holy Spirit to guide my tongue. I don’t ask Him for help enough. First, I can try pausing and thinking about what I heard before I speak. In other words, give myself some “wait time”. I don’t always have to give a quick response. Finally, I can begin thinking of ways to respond in a manner that always pleases the Lord and profits the person.

  32. Listening and observing and choosing love and peace instead of absorbing others feelings. Understanding their feelings are not mine.

  33. Thank you, Gwen, for your spiritual post today. The one thing I will put effort in today, in regards to be an encourager if others, is to listen first before responding. In the bustle of daily duties, it is easier sometimes to just respond to others’ questions and comments. Listening before responding helps put conversations into perspective and gives each of us a chance to uplift, encourage, and possible spread wisdom instead of hurt.

    I needed to see your post today and appreciate your work.

    1. Thank you Gwen for all your wonderful devotions, and especially this one on the tongue. You help us all understand God’s Word so much more when there’s a picture painted for us in how to apply His Word. Also such a reminder when we read about others who struggle with the same difficulties as we do, we don’t feel alone as we often do feel when we are go through this.
      I agree what Karen Rosemond commended on giving herself “a wait time”. Not to always give a quick response, I loved what my daughter would always say to her boss, “let me process this” and I’ll get back with you on this problem!
      I love what Isaiah saids; 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) I read this and begin to ask God for a well-instructed tongue.

      When he recognized 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) and that’s what I need to recognize is my limitations and His limitlessness of His mercy and grace on my life. I need to always have James 1:19 cemented down deep in my heart!
      To be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Thank you Gwen for your hard labor in Christ!🌸💞💗

  34. Lord, let kindness be at the center of my heart with those I ha e conversation with today, especially my family.

  35. Listen, before speaking. So often I anticipate what someone is saying and spout off, not giving them a chance to complete their sentence. Not a good way to encourage. Help me Jesus!

  36. The “one thing” I can do and I am practicing is – “speak the Word” over my challenges (regardless of the challenge), instead of what I see, hear or feel. Then my words are like His, encouraging, faith-filled, hope inspired, loving and life changing. Paul says in Phillipians 4, “practice what you learned”

  37. Practice the pause. It’s ok to take a moment to think through your response and weigh your words, are they God honouring before you say them.

  38. This one thing I have to do is to for give others when they do harm to me. Forgive and love as Christ forgave and loved me.

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