Watch your mouth, and let your words work for you by Esther Kuku
The answer to many of our problems is right under our nose. I could have secured many more victories, more quickly, were it not for the fact that my mouth, at times, seems to have a mind of its own.
It’s very annoying. My heart always says the right thing, thinks the right thing, behaves brilliantly… however, there occasionally seems to be a disconnect. And, it is not just me. Many of us struggle to follow the simple biblical guidance to ‘let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear’ (Ephesians 4:29), or to remember that ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue’ (Proverbs 18:21).
Earlier this year, I had a conversation with a friend on the phone and, without realising it, I had remarked, three or four times within that 15-minute conversation, how exhausted I was. Mid-conversation he stopped me and said: “Esther, can you hear yourself? If you keep saying you’re tired all the time, then that is the result you will get. By your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.”
I knew all of this, of course. But, at that moment, it was like fresh revelation that shot right through me. Because I had a new baby and wasn’t getting much sleep, the inference was that I had a right to speak exhaustion over my life – and literally curse myself. I decided, on the spot, that I wasn’t going to wait for my feelings to line up with God’s promise that His strength is made perfect in my weakness, that His joy is my strength. I started a file of Scriptures that pertain to strength. To be clear: I moved from condemning myself, and grasped the fact that all of us have a lot more power than we think.
We claim to understand the power of our words, but continue to cut corners with our communication. We curse, backbite, murmur, complain and dismiss it as ‘normal everyday behaviour’ that we all engage in. If you’re Christian, however, it is not normal; it is abnormal and low-level living that will hinder your progress. How dare we continually speak against God’s property and expect our lives to prosper? How dare we speak negativity over our own lives, when we have been wonderfully and fearfully made, and when Jesus’ blood has purchased our salvation?
We cannot move into a new year and continue to blame God and people for things that are within our domain to change.
Jesus wants us to understand the importance of our words. That is why we have so many Scriptures guiding us to get this right. Matthew 12:36 warns: “I tell you, on the Day of Judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.”
The best thing we can do for ourselves, as we prepare our minds for 2017, is to adopt the position that if we don’t have anything constructive to say, we should just keep our mouths shut. There is strength in saying nothing and in not always having an opinion; your silence cannot be (mis)quoted. Listening is communication, too. And we may need to end some friendships, so we don’t allow people to bring church gossip to us. You are not a dustbin for their trash.
Can you see this is something I feel very passionately about?
If people feel they can come to you and murmur, it means they have concluded that you are on the same level. The minute you disallow this, you will find you are always the last to know everything… but you’ll be the first to enter into God’s rest.
Join me in making a conscious decision in 2017 to take a step back and to think before we open our mouths. Let’s make our words work for us. Ask yourself: Is what I am about to say going to edify, heal, inspire? Or is it an attempt to prove my point and win an argument, secure more likes on social media, or put someone down? Wake up every day and choose someone in your world to say something encouraging to. And, when it comes to our own lives, check yourself and ask: Are my words pumping life into my dreams, or draining my dreams of power?
It’s something we all have to work on – whether we are young or old, male or female. However, some of us can be more emotional. We need to daily ask God for His help to manage our emotions and keep our mouths in check: our destinies and relationships depend on it. We will get there by His grace. I pray that you have a wonderful holiday season and a powerful 2017.