Christian Life · Refreshment · Speech

What If Everyone Could Hear Your Words?

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What if everyone could hear your words?  Would you be okay with that?

Imagine my horror recently when  I discovered that my cell phone had been on “Record voice” mode for thirteen minutes to a group text!

It was just a couple weeks ago on a Sunday morning and I had been texting with a group of friends while getting ready for church.  I slid my phone into the outside pocket of my purse and headed downstairs to make breakfast and finish my meal prep for lunch, totally oblivious to the fact that my every step and word was being recorded.

I set my purse down in the kitchen and made my way to my husband’s office where he and I had a brief conversation.  Making my way back to the kitchen, I busied myself with my kitchen chores.  About thirteen minutes later, I heard a notification on my phone.  It was when I went to check it that I realized I’d been recording myself!  I quickly sent a message to my friends to delete the recording, then I proceeded to listen to what I had accidentally sent. I heard footsteps, my question about what my husband would like for his breakfast, and my banging and moving about in the cupboards.  Yeah, that could’ve turned out unpleasantly, but it didn’t, thank the Lord.

However, as I finished my work, I couldn’t help but think about how careful my words would be if I knew they were being recorded and replayed for all to hear!  I wondered…

  • What if that had happened on a day that I was being unkind to my husband?
  • What if I had said something unkind about someone else?
  • What if I had been griping and complaining?
  • What if I had been going off on some rampage?

Yeah, what if?  But of course the truth is, God always hears those words.  My complaints, my hatefulness, my griping, my complaining, my slander.  He hears it all.

Psalm 139:4
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, you know it altogether.

After that incident, I would start to make a comment, and then close my mouth, knowing that I wouldn’t want that recorded!  Sometimes they were just words that weren’t needed.  It was best to allow the silence to fill the room, instead of my talking.  Other times they were words that shouldn’t be said.  It was best to be still.

Wow.  What a lesson that was to me, and one I pray I won’t forget.
Maybe asking yourself,

Would I want this to be broadcast for everyone to hear?

will keep you from saying what doesn’t need to be said.

Oh, and you might want to check your cell phone to be sure it’s off.  I remember some time last year a friend going “Live” on Facebook without ever knowing it!  It could happen to any of us, but if we guard our words, it won’t be a worry if it does.

Refresh others with your words!

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Christian Life · Speech · tongue

Let the Fire Die

fire pit

A fire in a fire pit is a great thing!  A fire in your lap…not so much!  You may say, “A fire in your lap?  That’s dumb!  Who would want that?”  The answer is no one!!  Proverbs 26:20 says,

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer,
the strife ceaseth.  

You see, a person who bears tales (gossip) causes strife.  It’s like having a fire in your lap.  No one wants it!

The strife that tale bearing causes is as hurtful as a fire burning in your lap.  Even if the words are true, they are painful to hear.  What do you do with this “story” after you’ve heard it?

I recently had someone share a “fire” with me.  The words were true, but I didn’t need to hear them.  They stung.  It was like sparks flying from a hot ember, touching my very heart.  Trying to deal with the burning coals for the next day or so wasn’t easy.  They needed to be extinguished with the Water of God’s Word.  I was reminded of words that were flung at Christ; untrue accusations, ugly names, words of doubt about Who He really was.  What did He do?  He answered not a word.

Not a word.

For me to pass on what was shared would be to pass along the fire.  No one else needs this in their lap.  I told my Savior, and of course He already knew.  He applied the salve of His love and comfort.

Do you know some “hot news?”  Keep it to yourself.  It could be a burning ember that will scorch the hearer.  The fire in my fire pit needs to keep burning, but the fire that needs to go out is the one that will cause strife.  May we each let that tale bearing fire cease.

With love,

Christian Life · Praise · Speech

With Words of Praise

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This hideously adorable donkey lives on a farm about an hour from us.  We have affectionately named him “Lester.”  Lester is very jealous of the other animals on the farm.  How do I know?  If  visitors gather to pay homage to the lovely peacock, or ooo and ahhh over the long neck of the ostrich who lives there, he will begin his very loud and obnoxious,

Hee-haw!  Hee-Haw!

It’s really comical to hear him.  Not only is his noise hilarious, his mouth and ears look quite funny when he’s going off on his rampage!

While listening to Lester, I turned to my husband and said, “I’m sure thankful I can sing!  Wouldn’t it be terrible to open your mouth and sound like that?!”

The next day as I sat to have my quiet time, I read Psalm 145.  I was moved at how many times it talks of using my mouth to praise the Lord.  Words like, extol, bless, praise, speak and utter were all reminders that God wants me to use my voice for His glory.  I must praise Him with speech and song.  I must tell others of His goodness by the use of my voice.  However, I often neglect the chance to speak up!  I remain silent, or I don’t give honor belonging only to the Lord.

  • Even little things like praising Him like when someone passes and says, “It’s a pretty day, isn’t it?”  needs to be followed with, “Yes, and I thank the Lord for making it.”  Anything else would be like Lester’s “Hee-Haw!
  • At testimony time at church, if I fail to stand and praise Him for prayer He’s answered, I’m belting out “Hee-Haw” instead.
  • When the opportunity to share the Gospel is given and I am too afraid to share it, my lips are uttering ol’ Lester’s ugly “Hee-Haw!” greetings instead of the Truth that will set that person free!
  • To miss the opportunity to pray my thanks for a meal, for God’s comfort, His presence, for answered prayer, or for provision is to selfishly call attention to myself rather than my great God.  Hee-Haw!
  • “Hee-haw!” is what I’m really saying if I’m not singing with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and making melody in my heart during the song service at church.

We all have a voice, given by the Lord.  Are you using yours to praise the Lord, or do the sounds that come from your lips resemble Lester?  Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord!

With praise to Him,

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Christian Life

Don’t Tell Anyone!

Gossiping can cause ‘invisible gorilla effect, say scientists

I was a young pastor’s wives, and as green as I could be when an older teen girl came to me with a problem.  She began by saying, “I need to talk to you, but you have to promise not to tell anyone about this.”

Of course I would keep it a secret – that’s what pastor’s wives were supposed to do, right?  Well, sort of.  As she began to share her problem with me, I realized that the root of the problem was due to a sin in her life…one that her parents didn’t know about, but that they needed to hear.  Now what was I to do?  I had promised to tell no one! How I regretted having listened to her in the first place!  I felt stuck!

Recently in our New Members Sunday school class, the question was posed,

How could you stop gossip in your church?

One of the class members answered that by sharing a story that sounded very similar to my own.  He said,

A lady in a church had issues with her husband.  She came to the church leaders about it.  She told them they could not tell her husband what she had said, and they agreed.  When a third party was brought in to help resolve the problem, he listened to her for about 45 minutes and then said,

Every one of you men need to get on your knees and repent of listening to gossip because that’s what you’ve done.  Without being able to talk to her husband, there’s no solution, and this is only spreading gossip!

How I wish someone had told me that years ago!  The situation I was in with the teen girl taught me to always tell someone who came to me that they could share whatever they wanted, but if there was sin involved, I would take the necessary steps and talk to the people involved so that a biblical solution could be found.

If you want to squelch gossip, don’t listen to it if you’re not a part of the problem, or if you’re not able to help with a solution by telling the necessary people.  That will stop it immediately.  If you don’t listen to it in the first place, you won’t have to worry about repeating it!

I recently read this verse in Psalm 17:3 which could be applied to lots of ways we sin with our mouth, but it certainly applies to gossip:

I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

I have said that verse OUT LOUD to myself since I penned it in my journal last week!  Sometimes it takes true, intentional and purposeful effort NOT to sin with my mouth by sharing words, and sometimes by not listening to it in the first place!

By the way, in case you’re wondering, the situation with the teen ended by my husband and I meeting with her and explaining that I had been wrong, asking her forgiveness, then letting her know it was her responsibility to tell her parents…or we would have to.  She did.  Whew.  I chalked that one up as a Lesson for Denise!

Refresh your speech and cease from gossip!