I was struggling with what to write with. Not because I couldn’t come up with anything – it’s actually quite the opposite. I’ve got two different topics floating in me, one concerning a study of Romans that I’ve been doing that just happened (as so often it is with God) to coincide with a series of sermons I’m listening to at work.
But one article that has been burning in me lately is a complaint that I’ve had for the last several weeks. Which, once you see what I’m complaining about you’ll see that the very idea I’m complaining about it is rather ironic.
I’m frustrated that complaining has become so very much the “in” thing to do.
Awhile back at my nieces’ birthday she’d invited a friend over to the house. Within 3 minutes of her friend arriving (and no, I am not exaggerating whatsoever) she’d announced to her friend that her parents embarrassed her and that her little brother was annoying and she hated him.
Two days ago, walking into a store with my nephew he announced that the store wouldn’t have what I was looking for. He proceeded to announce failure on every single aisle.
It’s not just children either. As adults we complain about the weather, our co-workers, and any other situation that comes up. We speak negative words concerning our health, our abilities, our futures, and our goals and that of other people as well.
And that’s the part that I’ve been dwelling on. We’re killing ourselves, and we’re allowing the devil to win hundreds of battles that might not have been anywhere close to a loss had we just kept our minds and hearts in line with God. The Bible says: “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh forwardness” (def: ”forward”=willfully contrary”). Or Luke 6:45 which says: “A good man out of the good treasure of his hearth bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words. Proverbs 15:26
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. Ecclesiasties 10:12
Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalms 141:3
The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom. Proverbs 10:21
A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:20,21
And those are just a few of the verses found concerning the words that come out of our mouths. I want you to notice 2 particular things here.
1: I’m focusing on what should be coming out of our mouths. Because when we focus on that, we don’t have to worry about the negative things coming out quite so often. If you maintain an attitude of praise, and thoughtfulness, sweetness and hope in your words – you’ll not so often find the thoughts of complaint, and bitterness welling up within you.
2: The last verse that I cited was the one that interested me the most. There were several other scriptures that mention our lips as having “fruit”. Most of the verses mention either the giving of the “fruit” to someone else, or the satisfaction of your own belly with the “fruit”. We downplay our words. We’re sarcastic, flippant, mocking, irreverent, rude, angry, sullen, discouraging, pessimistic, and we think nothing of it. But we get to eat our fruit. Whether we realize it or not, we’re eating and filling our bloated bellies with our words. But I’ve eaten enough bad fruit (there are few things as nasty as bad fruit) to know that the difference between good and bad fruit is so drastically different it’s a story unto itself.
It’s hard to pick good fruit at the grocery store. You pick up a peach, stick it in a brown paper bag and take it home and wait… hoping you take it out at just the right moment. But let me tell you, when you bite into the golden, delicious, fresh, ripe peach; it’s a moment to savor. It takes you by surprise how good it is.
But it’s also really rare for that to happen. Because too often the peaches either still aren’t ripe enough when I try it, or they were in there too long and now they’re a little… off. I’ve got a lot of words to eat that have been intended correctly, but improperly timed. I’m still working on it. That’s probably why there are so many verses talking about the wisdom of keeping silent.
So to end this little rant – just know how much God cares about your words. The devil cares too. Guard yourself.