Do you ever get yourself in trouble with what you say?
I mean I can be irritable over the smallest things sometimes. Like really insignificant in hind sight. Then say something sarcastic that I regret about five minutes later.
Also some responses in casual conversation frankly leave me uneasy.
I asked a friend, “How you doing?”
He responded, “I’m doing.”
I thought, “Wait. What?”
Another friend said to me after a setback, “You know if I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all.”
We laughed but I thought, “What a sad outlook.”
And how many times have we all said when something doesn’t go our way, “Well, that’s just my luck.”
Sure we may say those things to be funny. Yet, way too often deep inside we’re serious.
But the real problem I see?
First, it reveals a heart filled with frustration and discouragement.
Second frankly it programs our mind to expect more of the same. And I’ve found when I expect more of the same too often I get it.
Which is what I find so insightful about what Jesus told a group of people. They’d watched him work a full-up miracle then criticized him for it. Amazing!
He responded, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”*
He said this to counteract those who were criticizing him. Yet, I think it gives an interesting insight into how to see more of God’s power working in our lives.
I see two important keys here for unleashing that power.
First, observe your speech. Occasionally stop and think about what you say.
Was it hateful or loving?
Was it doubtful or encouraging?
Was it agitated or peaceful?
Was it critical or joyful?
Observing what we say like a bystander gives us a tool to observe what’s really in our heart. It reveals more about someone’s faith than all the church going they can muster.
Then when we diagnose the core issues we have the opportunity to fix them.
Second, proactively guide what you say.
Why? Well obviously when we lash out in anger at someone it leaves hurts that can destroy our relationship.
But in addition our words impact our own heart and mind. Studies have shown that our speech actually shapes our outlook.
So when we say loving words we feel more loving.
When we say words of expecting God to act we begin to truly expect his intervention.
When we focus our words on what we’re thankful for we find ourselves encouraged.
Mysteriously our hearts and minds fill with faith and love. We begin to expect God’s blessings instead of more challenges. We start loving again those whom God has given us to love.
Then amazingly we begin to see God’s miracles around us every day.
Our words truly reveal and shape our future.
How have you found this to be true?
Please share it on Facebook, Twitter or email me.
*Matthew 12: 34-35 (NIV)