Last week my girls started something new…fighting for fun! Now when you are the parent, there is just nothing funny about it! One picks at the other and then they start this round robin of verbal jabbing. I just had to jump into the ring and call the match over…permanently! Their response was “Oh, Mom! We’re just kidding.” “Well, find some other way to do it!”
How appropriate was my reading this morning. Matthew 12: 34b – 37 “You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
Sounds to me like Jesus takes the words that come out of our mouth very seriously. He is telling us that we need to choose EVERY word that we say carefully – whether we are angry, sad or silly. They all count.
My dad was a quiet man. He didn’t say much, but when he did, you listened. We figured if it was important enough for him to say it, then there had to be value in it. Abraham Lincold said, “I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.” Just think, that was written in the mid-1800’s!
As I finished up my time with the Lord, I opened my book, “The Power of a Praying Parent” (Stormie Omartian)to pray for my kids. The prayer? Learning to speak life. Amazingly appropriate!
I pray that my child will choose to use speech that glorifies You. Fill their heart with Your Spirit and Your truth so that what overflows from their mouth will be words of life and not death. Put a monitor over their mouth so that every temptation to use profane, negative, cruel, hurtful, uncaring, unloving or compassionless language would pierce their spirit and make them feel uncomfortable. I pray that obscene or foul language be so foreign to them that if words like that ever do find their way through their lips, they will be like gravel in their mouth and they will be repulsed by them. Help them to hear themselves so that words don’t come out carelessly or thoughtlessly.
Keep them from being snared by the words of their mouth. You’ve promised that “whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” (Proverbs 21:23). Help them to put a guard over their mouth and keep far away from adversity. Your Words says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). May they speak life and not death. May they be quick to listen and slow to speak so taht their speech will always be seasoned with grace. Equip them to know how, what, and when to speak to anyone in any situation. Enable them to always speak words of hope, health, encouragement, and life, and to resolve that their mouth will not sin.”
The perfect prayer…not just for them, but for all of us well! Lord, today, use us, through our tongues, to be a source for hope, health, encouragement and life!