Something I struggle with easily on a daily basis is speaking. I am not the most conversational or extroverted person by any means. Talking to a complete stranger is not on my list of favorite things to do. But that isn't the kind of speaking that I am referring to here. I'm talking about speaking love.
Maybe you have been in the same situation? I often find myself getting caught up in speaking sin. This can be shown in a number of different ways, which is why it's probably so difficult to stay on top of. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.
Gossip. Slander. Ridicule. Judgement.
Do you ever get caught up in the moment? Your friend or your relative is telling you about something someone did to them, and you have to chime in about what happened to you as well? Have you ever over-shared some information to someone else without helpful construction in mind? Have you ever said anything blatantly mean or even a lie about someone? I have. More than once. (More times than I can count!)
What about your husband? Have you ever gotten caught up in the group of moms at the park talking about what their husband didn't get right this time? Have you nagged, whined, or complained about something seemingly terrible that he did?
What about in your own head? Have you listened to the voice in your head telling yourself that you are a terrible mother, wife, daughter, or friend? Have you listened to it tell you that everyone else is doing a better job, is prettier, is more fit, or has it all together while you don't?
James 3:5-8 "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."
That's a pretty powerful message from James. While reading this, I have the urge to kind of brush it off. It's easy to think about all the other worse things you could be doing, but the more I think about it the more I overwhelmingly agree. In my own personal life, I find the worse my thoughts and words are, how much worse everything is. I get caught up in what the words (true or not) are saying and believe them more and more. Your mind can warp your thoughts so easily. My husband didn't take out the trash today? Well, he clearly is the worst husband ever. I can't believe he didn't take out the trash. Let's think about all the other terrible things he didn't do. WHAT! It's outright turning into a huge lie, and quickly!
So I'm here to propose a challenge to you...
1 Thessalonians 5: 8, "But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet."
Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
First, decide what your issue is, and tackle it with love. If you have a problem bashing your husband, compliment him. Thank him for all the nice things he does for you. Speak well of him to other people. Remind yourself of all his positive traits. If your head is constantly telling you off, write down a few personal achievements and post them as reminders around the house. Flick the tiny devil off your shoulder and ignore your mean thoughts.
Second, get in your Bible. Being in the Word often helps keep your perspective positive.
Third, pray about it! Ask for forgiveness. Ask for guidance and direction.
I think that you will find that the more positive your thoughts and words are, the more positive your experiences and attitudes with these people (or yourself) will be.
Let's speak love.
Heavenly Father, Forgive me, please. Forgive me for my unkind thoughts, for my selfish motivations, for my hurtful words. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for salvation through Him that I so dearly need because of my sin. Help me to be positive and to be respectful. Help me to speak love about others and about myself. Amen.