The Importance of Sifted Words
When I was in grade school & our photos arrived, we’d cut apart our pics & swap. My 4th grade photo wasn't all that stellar. My hair was a mess, my glasses seemed huge & I think I forgot it was picture day because I didn’t wear anything cute.
When I handed my photo to a friend, she said, “Oh Kimmy, you’re so beautiful!”
I was like, “Is she looking at MY photo?
I quickly replied, “No, my hair was a mess-you can be honest, I know I look bad.”
I remember the moment like it was yesterday because what she said next was so full of wisdom, that it felt like a verbal spanking.😳
“Why would you speak about yourself that way? You are a daughter of the Most High God Who created you, why would you dishonor Him with such negative self talk?”
My eyes welled up with tears because she was right (& I was a little embarrassed.)
It’s a silly example, but I think it’s easy to talk to self in a similar way when we mess up. (I’d lose many friends if I spoke to them with the same sneer of contempt that I’ve spoken to myself. 😬)
Solomon likens gentle words to a tree of life. The word for “gentle” comes from a root that means wholesome & healthy, giving cure & health.
The rest of the proverb gives the flip, telling how a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. I confess that there’ve been occasions where my self-talk matches the definition of deceitful: twisted, vicious, & overturned.
When we fail at something, it can be easy to allow thoughts or words that overturn Truth & rob us of the life that God intends.
Philippians 4:8 gives us a clear filter for our words. What if the next time we miss the mark (or someone else messes up?) we ask these questions:
Are these thoughts or words:
Excellent or praiseworthy?
If they don’t promote health & give cure to the hearer, they aren’t from God & can’t be good.
Jesus, You said he who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. Remind us of Your Truth that we are fearfully & wonderfully made in Your image & that our past has no power when the Holy Spirit reigns. Remind us that there’s nothing that can separate us from your love. Sift our words, thought or spoken, to match Yours!
May 12th One Year Bible Readings
1 SAMUEL 12:1-13:23