September 25, 2009
Changing the Way We Speak By Renewing the Mind
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:8-9 TNIV).
Friend To Friend
Have you ever been to a rodeo and watched a lassoing contest? The little calf bursts from the stall and then the cowboy and his steed follow close behind. With his lasso in hand, the cowboy swings the rope in the air and attempts to lasso the little heifer before she escapes out the corral door at the opposite side of the arena. That is a vivid picture of what we must do with the words that attempt to escape the gate, the mouth…we must rein them in.
The Bible teaches us to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Once we lasso a thought (take it captive) we can decide which words leave the gate and which words need to be tied up and secured. Studies show that we speak at about 120 to 180 words a minute. It seems like we need to do a bit more lassoing and a lot less running on.
Let's take a look at this little heifer: our words, and how to rein them in. First, a thought bursts forth from the stall called the brain. It runs across the mind headed for the door called the mouth. In a split second, we must determine if that thought is of God or if it is against the knowledge of God. If we determine that the words are not of God, then we lasso the thought with the Word of Truth and it never makes its way out of the gate (the mouth). If it passes the God-test, we allow it to go free.
What is the lasso? It is the Word of God-the Word of Truth. That can seem a bit overwhelming, so let's just pick one verse as our lasso. Philippians 4:8, 9 is a great place to start. "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" (TNIV).
Before we speak, we can sift the words through a mental sieve. Is what I'm about to say:
If the words don't fit this description, lasso them and don't let them go! If they do pass the test, let them trot out of the gate and bless the world!
The King James translation of 2 Corinthians 10: 5 says it this way: "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." I like that picture of casting down. See, once the cowboy slips the lasso around the calf's neck, he throws her to the ground and whips that rope around her kicking legs to make sure she's not going anywhere. Likewise, we need to "cast down" those thoughts back to the dirt where they came from and make sure they aren't going anywhere.
Dear LORD, sometimes I just can't believe what comes out of my mouth. Help me to think before I speak. If the words that are about to come out of my mouth are not pleasing to You or edifying to others, help me to rein them in and keep them from escaping my lips.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Make a list of Paul's litmus test for our words found in today's truth. At the end of the day, evaluate the words you spoke to others and see how you did.
Were there some words that you should have kept in the stall?
Where there some words of encouragement that you should have spoken but didn't?
I'm so glad that you are joining me on this journey to improve the words we speak. Don't get discouraged. Changing the way we speak takes prayer and practice, prayer and practice!
If you would like to comment on today's devotion, visit www.sharonjaynes.com/blog .
More From The Girlfriends
Today's devotion is taken from Sharon's book, The Power of a Woman's Words. In this book, you can explore the power you possess, the people you impact, the potential for change, and the profound possibilities. As you harness this mighty force, you will begin to use words to speak life to those around you. Get one for yourself, or gather a group of girlfriends to learn and grow together.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Friday, 25 September 2009.