Speak Love

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.

speak 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...

Speak love.

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.

 

BeckySig2

 

 

It's none of your business... or is it?

Does anyone ever feel uncomfortable with the fact that the divorce rate among Christians is equal to the divorce rate of the world; that men (and women) inside the church are struggling with pornography just as much as those outside of it; gossip is known to be an issue throughout our women’s circles and our Christian high schools and colleges deal with drugs, alcohol and sexual abuse. I feel today like God wants me to write on a topic we don’t hear about very much in the church (or at least not in the one I attend): ACCOUNTABILITY.

DSCN3902
DSCN3902

Now, before I start, please know that I am not writing this blog post on how we are to interact with those not in the faith; those God has called us to witness to with love and grace. Rather, I’m writing to my fellow Christians. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? - 1 Corinthians 5:12

The Bible overflows with commands to love our enemies, our neighbors, and not to judge others. However, it can be misunderstood as we read these passages that we are to stay out of other Christians' problems; that we should lovingly understand where they are coming from and let them sort it out themselves. We don’t want to act like we are judging or treating them ungracefully so we just stay out of it.

It’s messy. It’s their problem. It’s really none of my business. Right?

Wrong.

It is our business. Yes, it is messy. Yet, God calls us there anyway.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. - Galatians 6:1-3

Isn’t that exactly what Jesus did? Didn’t he loving hold people to a higher standard? He healed people of sickness and forgave their sins and then encouraged them to “go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

Too often we tell God our sins as if floating them up into a great unknown. It's easy, quick and we don’t have to do anything more about them. But that isn’t what the Bible teaches us to do. In fact, we are also to “confess our sins to one another that we may be healed” (James 5:15).

Why is that? As soon as we tell another Christian our sins and our struggles, all of a sudden we are in a place where we have to do something about it. There is now accountability. What has been hidden in darkness is being brought to light.

Once we drop our perfect facades and are honest with each other, Satan loses his power to keep us struggling alone; feeling isolated and overwhelmed. God never intended for us to run this race by ourselves, secretly struggling with our sins; incapable of freedom.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ­- Hebrews 12:1

We need to start confessing to one another, praying for each other and taking steps to overcome by the power of Jesus - together!

If gossip has a grip on your life, talk to someone who will hold you accountable and start doing something about it. If you, your spouse our your child, is struggling with pornography, start with confession and let God start the healing. He is the ultimate healer and not only gave us the power of his Word, but also the partnership of those in the Church.

Let’s resist the temptation to let our pride keep us from the blessing of community and accountability. God didn’t just come to offer us forgiveness from the chains that bind us. He came to bring us freedom from them.

  1. Pray for the courage to confess your sins to a trusted Christian friend or mentor.
  2. Ask that mentor to then pray with you and continue to follow-up and encourage you as God leads you to freedom.
Katy Signature
Katy Signature