15 January, 2015

There Is Power In Your Words

Did you know there is power in your words? The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:21 Amplified Bible: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]."
I really wonder sometimes if people realize that the words coming out of their mouth are shaping or framing their lives.  I wonder if they realize that all the constant complaining, griping and whining about life is actually shaping the world they live in. Just this morning, I was at my doctor's office for a follow up visit after having a heart cath done this past weekend. The heart cath looked so good my cardiologist told me he does not need to see me for a year. The blood work was not "super" but was within the acceptable levels but could be better. My doctor suggested putting me back on statin drugs and some other drug and I told him that I believed I was fine without them. I told him that I was determined to drop 20 pounds this year and increase my exercise and that I'd like to monitor how I do with this. He again pushed for me to go on the drugs, but I told him that 4 years ago they told me I could not survive without those drugs and had me convinced of that and for 2 years I had repeated heart complications. I asked him to go back 2 years ago in my chart and look for a similar conversation and compare my numbers. He did and at that time I was 16 pounds heavier than I am now and my lipid panels were a mess. I told him, that I told him then I was going to change things, beginning in my thoughts and then in my body. Today, all of my reports are better than they have been in 8 years and it began by taking control of my thoughts and life. I said, "Keith, I'm no longer dependent on medication to do what I have been too weak to do for myself."  He looked at me and said, "I believe you. See you in 6 months to monitor how you are doing."  My point is, I had to change my thinking and change what I was saying. I used to believe and say that I'd be on heart medicines for the rest of my life. If I continued saying that, I would. But today, I'm free of those medications and all the risks that go with them.Thank you Jesus!

Now, I had more in mind than just sharing that testimony. I want to say that this applies to all of us, in every area of our lives. The words that come out of our mouths are a reflection of what we believe. We need to take control of them. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life."  Then in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 we read, "3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."  These passages tell us how important it is to get our thoughts and words under control. Again, the words that come out of our mouth are framing the world in which we live and operate. Oh yes, we've all met people who take this to the extreme and get just plain silly over it. I once knew a man who would go bananas if I said, "I'm dying of thirst" or "I'm so hungry I could die."  He told me I was speaking death over myself. I know he meant well... but seriously... we can get really overboard with stuff. While he may have been over the top with his thinking, the fact is that most people don't give enough thought to the power of their words. We often open the door to the enemy of our souls by the words we use and we need to reign those in.

Another area that I have been giving a lot of thought to is the "escape clauses" we invoke through our words. I've challenged people to read the Bible more and they will say, "I'll try to do better."  I've invited people to church and they will say, "I'm going to try" or "If nothing comes up."  I'll be honest... as soon as I hear those words I know that 95% of the time that person will not be at church. Their words betray their heart. It is not all that important to them and they have built in their escape clause into their response that was disguised to be a positive response. I have no doubt that somewhere within them they want to come to church; it's just not all that important to them at this juncture of their lives. What they are really saying is "One of these days when I have absolutely nothing to do and I can drag myself out of bed, then I might come." It's not a personal thing for them yet about serving God... it's more about doing me a favor by showing up. When they reach the place that they desperately need God, it will suddenly become important to them. In AA we call that hitting rock bottom and we know that something has to change. It's a different place for all of us, but we have to find that place for ourselves where we know it is not an option... it's a necessary part of our lives to worship God and have a close relationship with Jesus on our own. Until then... we will "try".  I've been doing this pastoring thing a long time and I know the difference. When someone tells me, "I WILL see you Sunday" then I know they are being real. "I'll try" literally means, "I know I need God... but I'm still trying to work this out on my own."  Hopefully they will discover the futility of that approach, but I've learned I cannot change someone's heart. Only God can do that.  My point is, the words coming out of our mouth frame our world. When we say, "I'll try" we leave ourselves room to weasel out while saving face. There is no commitment.  This is true not only of attending church, but in so many areas of our lives. I often tell people "I'll try" when asked to attend things because I know that I cannot make a commitment because things do come up regularly in my life that would make me break my word. For me personally, "I'll try" literally means that I will do my best to be there and I will be there unless something comes up that takes priority. I don't mean if a good TV show comes on. To me, my word means something, so I guard my words and don't make idle promises. People can lose all respect for you over a broken promise. I don't mean to digress, but it really is the same thing... our words mean something. We need to take control over them. 

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