One chapter that I read a couple of weeks back has really sat with me and I keep coming back to the title of that chapter again and again. In fact at random times I find myself singing a reminder of the key message:
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
Bless Your name, bless Your name, Jesus
And the deeds of the day and the truth in my ways
Speak of You, speak of You, Jesus
For this is what I'm glad to do
It's time to live a life of love that pleases You
And I will give my all to You
Surrender everything I have and follow You
I'll follow You (Tim Hughes)
As a Christian it is important that what I speak out is good and wholesome. Some may say that we should speak our minds and be honest with ourselves and if something bad is on our mind then we should out it and to some degree I agree with this. I will tell God all the negativity that creeps into my thinking or my heart but I am careful not to allow any kind of 'stinking thinking' (thanks Joyce Meyer for such a fabulous phrase) to effect my family or friends. It is really hard and it takes much conscious work and I am far from perfect...
But for me I actually try and limit the ill thoughts that I have. Do you know the following verse? -
I find it so important to fill my life with positive thoughts and to speak those out. In the book Linda talks about a task set to her to speak a positive word to her children and husband each day to encourage them and fill them with worth and confidence. She tells how these words sounded so alien to her as she spoke them and thus she looked up the word encourage and found that the root word is courage. Then the prefix en means 'to put into' and she realised that when she told her husband how much she respected him for his decision to turn his back on a corrupt company that she was putting courage into him. She also looked up the prefix dis and found it meant 'to separate from' and realised that when she discouraged her husband (even with good intention) it meant that he was separated from the courage he needed to live a right life and to be a Godly man.
You don't have to be a follower of Christ to see that your words can be powerful and to realise that you can do amazing things by encouraging someone and believing in them. I have found before that you can take someone who has no belief in themself and you can can offer them that and if they hear it enough from you, they can start to believe it and things can change for them. My husband has a wonderful talent for this. He often employs young men and sees potential in them that no-one else can see and by offering them encouraging words and tasks of responsibility they step up to the mark and become the man they were destined to be.
I am certainly more conscious over the last few weeks that the words of my mouth bless Jesus and the person they are aimed at. All people deserve to be respected and blessed from the youngest child upwards. My children watch me and learn their behaviour and responses from that. My next task is to watch my tone of voice and volume when speaking. Whilst I have never heard my children speak evil or negative phrases to each other I do sometimes hear tone of voice that is just a little bit too sharp or loud and that is my very visible reminder to keep working on me.
What about you? Are the words from your mouth blessing anyone? Or have you got some work to do? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this....