One of my very dearest friends (along with several others) told me a few weeks ago that she missed my Heart Sessions. I was so blessed by her kind words that I knew it was time to open the window to my life yet again. Sarah, my friend, this is for you…
“The unthinkable becomes the thinkable which becomes the talkable which becomes the doable.”
I scribbled these words in the margin of my old Bible which is so beaten up and falling apart that it has been in retirement for a few years now. I had to dig it out and flip through the pages just to find this quote, but I knew it was there. I don’t know who said these words, other than it was a speaker at my summer Bible camp a million years ago, or so it feels. From the moment I heard these words, they were forever burned into my mind. Oh, the power of what we say and hear.
If you grew up in a Christian church, do you recall the children’s Sunday school song, “O, be careful little eyes what you see? O, be careful little ears what you hear? O, be careful little hands what you do? O be careful little feet where you go? O, be careful little mouths what you say? There’s a Father up above and He’s looking down in love. O, be careful little mouths what you say?”
Whoever wrote that little song was either incredibly in-tune with God, or clearly a genius. Likely, both.
If I haven’t made you uncomfortable yet, I am about to.
Not because I have mastered the art of mastering my yapper (clearly, I have NOT). Rather it’s because I’ve been praying for something to share with you all here for quite some time, for something that weighs heavily on my heart, and over and over again I come back to this topic, and when I woke up this morning it was ringing in my head yet AGAIN. So, I picked up my computer and started to type.
You see, I am convinced…
…What comes into our hearts and minds is likely to flow out through our words and actions…
Jesus promises so…
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Matthew 12:34 KJV
So, let’s be honest here, this topic makes us all a little squeamish. Am I right? I am no saint by any means, and the truth is that more often than not I can almost use the words I speak as a measuring stick for how I’m living my life for the Lord. For real. The truth is, I’ve fallen in more ways than I have room here to write.
It seems that it is always the little things that slowly turn into big things. The times when I watch garbage on TV purely for entertainment, knowing full well that it is, in fact, garbage is a pretty good indicator of where I’m at spiritually. Those times that I engage in gossip because curiosity gets the best of me, and I like being “in the loop” is a dangerous lure that I have to fight, too. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of said gossip, and I know I have, it’s all the more reason in the world to guard against it in our own lives. No one likes it, so why do we do it to others? And, perhaps, an even better question is why do we bother to listen to it? It’s like my friend Suzi always says, “If you’re not part of the problem, and you’re not part of the solution, talking about it is gossip.” Hmph. Reality check, yes??
Then, there’s all of those other, nasty, little traps, such as how we use our words. You most likely will never hear me swear…unless I get hit by a car while running, get my toe snapped in a mouse trap – that one was a killer!, bang my knee on the corner of a table, drop something either very breakable or very messy (while cooking) and so on. What can I say? It happens. BUT Someone is always watching.
In all honesty, I’m not one to swear (if you haven’t been witness to any of the above events, you most likely can testify to this fact), and call me a prude, if you must, but I kind of cringe and just sort of mentally checkout of conversations where people start dropping f-bombs and start talking about crude, inappropriate content…not because I’m better than them (the good Lord knows better), but because I know that the words and content I allow into my mind and heart will soon overflow out through my own words and my own actions.
I know in the depths of my being that I am capable of falling into any pitfall. I am not some superhuman Christian that is above reproach, and I struggle through the tough stuff just like the next guy and gal. Only Christ was perfect. Only Christ was a Master of His words and actions, and it is only through the power of His divine work in my life that I will ever overcome the strongholds of this world….which is exactly why I can tell from my conversations if I am truly living for Him. It’s not that I won’t make mistakes because I will and I do, but if I can limit those mistakes and fight to overcome them by claiming God’s promises in Scripture and through prayer, I can trust that I will be victorious.
It’s not easy.
Everything around us contradicts it.
The world tells us that anything goes. Seriously, we live in a world where everyone says we “deserve” to be happy. We are “entitled” to talk and behave however we choose. Who cares how our words and actions affect others? It’s all about me, me, me…
Whatever happened to being holy?
Whatever happened to being the example?
More often than not, I have to remind myself, “Newsflash, Nikki, it’s not about you.”
Life is not about my happiness. It’s not about what I deserve because the truth is that I am a sinner, and I deserve nothing. Not a thing. Nothing.
BUT the incredible part about that fact is that I have been given everything I need in this life and for all of eternity through the phenomenal gift of salvation through the One who died to cover my sins. So…my life is no longer about me; it is about taking up my cross daily to follow the example that Christ has given me.
It’s about striving for holiness with a thankful heart for all that I’ve been given, rather than focusing on what I lack. It’s about swallowing my pride and recognizing when I am not fully living for Him. It’s about guarding my mind and my heart. It’s about using my words to build up and not break down others, regardless of my feelings toward them. It’s about fighting the urge to fit in through gossiping about and slandering others.
It’s about keeping the garbage out and leaving room for all the good to come in. It’s about living in this world and a constantly changing society while clinging to the unchanging Word of God.
So, I’m constantly asking myself, “What am I living for? How are my words and actions affecting others?”
Sometimes, I don’t like the answer, but I will continue to ask the question until I know that I am honoring the Lord with my life.
I often find myself praying this passage of Scripture:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 KJV
This is what I know for sure…
I need Jesus.
I need His Word.
I need to pray.
I need accountability.
So, my prayer today is that the words of my mouth and my actions would be a blessing to others.
This is my prayer for you today, too.