BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY, LITTLE MOUTH!
In her devotional book, "Jesus Calling," Sarah Young says as if God were speaking to her:
“I have trained you to pray, ‘Help me, Holy Spirit,’ before answering the phone, and you have seen the benefits of this discipline. Do the same thing when communicating with people around you. If they are silent, pray before speaking to them. If they are talking, pray before responding. These are split-second prayers. When you do this, your speaking comes under the control of My Spirit.”
(From Glenn) This is Christianity 101, and I have been doing this for many years, but I can’t recall hearing or reading any teaching about it before. I certainly can’t claim that I do it perfectly - my mouth runs ahead of my brain lots of times. But I always repent and, if appropriate, ask the person I offended to forgive me. Then I start again trying to control my mouth. It’s not easy. James says,
We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault for what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. (James 3:2) I’m not quite there yet. Ha!
Romans 8:14 tells us, Those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God. The conversations we have, the words that we speak all the time are probably the most significant thing we do day after day. If we are not being “led by the Spirit” in those conversations, where or how are we being led by the Spirit?
Scripture even tells us that, The tongue has the power of death and life. (Prov. 18:21) Wow! That is a strong statement. But I have found in years of counseling situations that those words are literally true. One time I was praying for a young Japanese man when I was at the Dream Center in Hollywood. He told me about his mother who was in the hospital and apparently dying. He said that once a week his grandparents, his mother’s parents, came on the bus to visit her. He said his grandfather always did the same thing: He stood over his daughter’s bed and berated her for an hour. He always said, “You’re stupid! You should have sent your sons to college so they could make a lot of money. But you were lazy and stupid. Now they will never have good jobs.” And so on for about an hour and then they left.
The young man said, “He is killing my mother. Her hair is falling out, and she is deeply depressed. I think she wants to die.” Yes, the tongue literally has the power of death and life.
I’ve already admitted that I fall short of perfection in allowing the Holy Spirit to monitor my conversations, but this is what I am sure of: Over the years because of this little practice, I have been able many times to restrain my mouth from saying things that were sarcastic, judgmental, crude or inappropriate.
It is my sincere desire to say things to others that are encouraging, loving, and wise. I need a lot of help to accomplish that, and the Holy Spirit is ready and able to help me…...and you.
So I repeat Sarah Young’s wise advice: Ask the Lord to help you adopt the habit of asking His help in every conversation, every response, every word that comes out of your mouth. In my opinion, that is a big part of what it means to be “led by the Spirit.”
This is a guest blog from my dear friend, Glenn Brown.
Glenn Brown 441 ½ Lark Drive Grand Junction, Colorado 81504 Telephone: 970-434-1377 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org