Friday, March 23, 2012

Are Your Words Committing Arson?

When I attended Hearts at Home last weekend, I happened to find a stack of CDs and DVDs from previous conferences on a bargain table.  Well, those who know me well, KNOW I didn't walk past that table without picking up several!  At $2 or $3, I knew I wouldn't be wasting much money if they weren't ones that really applied to my life right now.

Having finished B90 early in the day yesterday, I found that I had some extra down time last night.  I was feeling really exhausted from a lupus flare up that was ending and my husband made sure I had some extra time to just relax.  I popped in one of the DVDs from the 2010 main sessions. 

Let me tell you......God met me like I totally was not expecting.  That session with Jill Savage absolutely gave me goosebumps and reached my heart like I've not felt in so very long.  I sent Jill a message on facebook last night and told her that it was such a blessing to know that a couple of years after her giving that talk, it was STILL reaching hearts.  Best $3 I've EVER spent.

She taught about the power of words and the types of words our families need to hear (we need them, our spouses need them, and our kids need them).  Though the information was nothing really new, it moved me.  It moved me because of her candor, her transparency, and her honesty. 

Affirming words---inspire courage and can change the trajectory of your life.  It needs to be true affirmation, not just empty words of flattery. 

Accepting words---makes it safe for our family members to express ideas and opinions.  It's easy to "shut them down" if we don't choose our words carefully.  Accepting words communicate that other people are valuable.

Appreciating words---express sincere gratitude.  It does NO good if you feel grateful, but don't express it.  You have to move it from your head to your mouth!  Be intentional!

Apologizing words---these are perhaps the hardest, but the most powerful.  They give life.  Both "I apologize" and "will you forgive me" are equally important.  "Will you forgive me?" requires a response and it helps open the heart for healing.  Most the time we hurt unintentionally, but the results are the same.

Here is the convicting part.  The part that got me exactly where God needed it to.  (Many of us are also moved by Michelle Duggar's soft voice and her teaching on speaking softly and NEVER in anger and gained so much from her similar workshops).  If we are "blowing up" or not speaking positive words, we ARE AN ARSONIST. 

Unfortunately, I am guilty.  Too many times, I blow up.  I get frustrated, overwhelmed, etc... and my patience runs too thin. 

Jill talked about how sometimes we can just feel it bubble up and then it bubbles out and burns those around us. 

We HAVE to take every thought captive.  What we say comes from our heart.  It's a fact whether or not we want to admit it.

If it's anger that is coming out or any non-positive attitudes, we HAVE to examine our hearts.  She gave the example of a report card.  Where are we getting D's or F's?  She encouraged us to grade ourselves in these areas:  bitterness, hurt, resentment, anger, judgment/critical spirit, pride, revenge, hate, and unforgiveness.  We most likely all have areas, if brutally honest, that we can't give ourselves top grades.

Here is the good news.  It's not about earning God's love.  Nothing we can EVER do will make God love us less or more.  It's unconditional love.

We CAN change our hearts with His help.  We can NOT do it on our own.  We have to GRASP the power of God's words in our hearts. 

Here is what reached my heart.  It is so great that I have to share it.  Hope it reaches YOUR heart.

Hold onto what God says about you and me.  Listen to what HIS word says about each of us that have Christ as Lord of our lives:

  • I am God's child.  John 1:12
  • I am Christ's friend. John 15:15
  • I have been bought with a price. I belong to God. 1Corinthians 6:19,20
  • I am united with the Lord. 1 Corinthians 6:17
  • I am a saint. Ephesians 1:1
  • I have been adopted as God's child. Ephesians 1:5
  • I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:18
  • I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.  Colossians 1:14
  • I am complete in Christ. Colossians 2:10
  • I am forever free from condemnation. Romans 8:1,2
  • I am assured that all things work together for good. Romans 8:28
  • I cannot be separated from the love of God. Romans 8:35
  • I am confident that the good work that God has begun in me will be perfected. Philippians 1:6
  • I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • I am God's workmanship.  Ephesians 2:10
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13
Doesn't that just reach your heart.  Aren't HIS words powerful?  Those words reach in and wash away the ugly things we are ALL carrying.  It gives us the power to change our hearts when we take hold of this power. 

Soak in these words.  Let them erase the things that bubble up out of us and cause us to "burn" those around us.  We don't want to commit arson with our words.  We want the love of Christ to be what bubbles out of our hearts.  Even when we are tired.  Even when we've not even been able to go to the bathroom alone!  Even when we are running in too many directions.  Even when we don't think we can handle one more thing.  EVEN when someone has hurt us.  Even when frustration is overflowing!

Our kids NEED our positive words.  Our spouse NEEDS our positive words.  We NEED our positive words to reach our own hearts. 

Let's not be arsonists. 


TN Quiltbug said...

Beautiful. Thank you so much for taking the time to write out all the affirming things and the matching Bible verses. I will be writing these down to refer to often! :) They were MUCH needed on a day like today. . .

Charlene said...

Good post!

I've been noticing a lot lately that most people can speak of mundane matters, or they can laugh and joke and make little put-downs of everyone around them, but they don't know how to engage in a conversation. A put-down is a put-down, even if it's worded in clever or humorous language. a lot of people say mean and hurtful things in a laughing manner, then if the recipient shows their displeasure, they come back with "it's just a joke--get a sense of humor". They manage to get their negative point across, but it's socially allowable because it's wrapped in so-called humor. I hate that saying, "I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you" because sometimes, the other person isn't laughing. "Put-down" humor is socially acceptable, but it wounds as well as words spoken in out-right anger--sometimes worse, because it's so often done in front of others, even when a "normal" angry exchange is kept private. If even a joke is at someone else's expense, it isn't a joke, it's often a cover for a person who is actually passive-agressive.

And that's all I have to say about that, lol!