30/30: Chatterbox. Filter. Mouth Challenge.

23 04 2008

Growing up I was a chatterbox. My parents would tell me I would talk and talk and talk. My mom would say, “Tim, God gave you one mouth and two ears for a reason. You should listen twice as much as you talk.” Once when I was going on and on, my dad said, “Tim, it’s always best to use the brain, before you use the mouth.” In this series on Men and Women, we learned that women speak on average 14,000 more words a day than men. That’s a lot of talking…but the question we need to ask is “what are we saying?” Are we using these words in a way that honors God?”

A guy named Paul wrote a group of Christ followers about their mouth problem in Ephesians 4:29. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Imagine you had a printed copy of all the words you said from this past week. How many would be in the HELPFUL Column of encouraging words that build people up? How many words would be in the UNWHOLESOME Column? The words to your spouse when He didn’t do what you asked. Your kids when they didn’t move fast enough. Your friend when she called to gossip. Your criticism when someone messed up. Your powering up to your co-worker in the board room. Nagging. Complaining. Gossip. Words that we say all too often.

Think for a moment why you and I say those things. We often don’t even consciously think about why we say what we say, but that doesn’t excuse our behavior. I believe it comes back to one of three sinful things in my life.

1. I want to have my way. Life is really about me. I’m right.

2. I want be in control of the situation or the person, because it will make my life better.

3. I am insecure about myself. Slamming someone else makes myself feel good temporarily.

Paul says, “if what you are saying isn’t helpful to build them up, if it’s about my needs not their needs, then I need to Zip the Lip.” You and I need to stop in those moments and take both our thoughts and our words to God. Let the Holy Spirit filter my words BEFORE I speak. The Holy Spirit really does want to guide you to speak appropriate words in love.

Take the Mouth Challenge: Before you speak this week, go to Christ and ask Him to filter your words. When you find unwholesome words coming out of your mouth, write them down and ask Christ what is the sin behind these words I need to confess to God. Let Him rewrite your words this week as you pray, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you. O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Women Challenge, Week #2

Intuition: Stop basing your decisions on feelings, and start filtering your feelings through the Holy Spirit.
Community: Use your words to build others up and point people to Christ.

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