“You will have to live with the consequences of everything you say. What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so, you must accept the consequences of your words” (Proverbs 18:20-21, GNT).
During the best of circumstances, it is hard to speak life-giving words over ourselves and others. I’m finding that this world-wide crisis has made it even more difficult. Virtual watering-hole conversations—the only sort allowed these days—focus on the negative side of current events. We rehash the news regarding total number of cases of the corona virus, updates on worldwide deaths, complaints of all kinds regarding the stay-at-home orders we are under. It’s easy to follow suit and maybe it even fosters a sense of comradery as we affirm that we are all in this together. A small comfort as we disentangle from our normal lives.
Hard times don’t change the fact though that “nothing gets in the way of our joy more than our mouths,”as Tom Newberry points out on Day 28 of 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life. Speaking positive, faith-filled words may be even more important during a crisis. In other translations of the Proverbs 18:21, it states, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” With death hanging heavy in the air, doesn’t it make sense to displace it with life?
Newberry suggests we speak confidently about our lives because God had assured us of a wondrous future. There are plenty of Scriptures to back up this claim. Here are just a few:
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT)
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NKJV)
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”(Romans 8:31, NKJV)
I am a Christian and as such, I have declared that I am trusting God and believing him for my eternal salvation. Shouldn’t I be able to trust him in a temporary storm such as this one? Newberry asks me to consider if my speech represents the problems of the present or my hopes for the future. Do my words emphasize my blessings or my worries? Right now, I confess, it’s a mixed bag, but I want to change that starting now.
One reason this is so urgent is that, according to Newberry, “your words are being recorded in your subconscious and will be played back at a time of its choosing, influencing your future perceptions and decisions.” Yikes! I know this is true because I have heard those recordings playing in my head many times–and not just my own words, but words spoken over me. I want those I love to replay my words of love, faith, appreciation and encouragement. It matters because it influences the course of lives!
Newberry’s assignment for today is to practice turning negative words into positive ones. He suggests you write out four negative phrases you have repeated to yourself more than once and to then write out the positive opposites. Ask God to reveal which thought is closer to the truth. Fear inducing for sure! Don’t be afraid! If you gave this exercise to someone you love and told them you were going to be the judge of which statement was right or wrong, which do you suppose you would choose?
Did you do the exercise? What did your Father say?