Necessary Endings – Part 7
It Ends Tonight – Stop The Killing
Stop killing yourself with negative talk. Have you ever considered that you are your own worse enemy? Life can be demanding but consider the words of Charles Swindoll: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
The words that come out of our mouths are not just something we do. Words are a reaction that reveals who we are because words are a window into the soul. Words are significant. The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” simply is not true. According to the Word of God words can hurt more than we realize. Consider the words in Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Consider this proverb. Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived pursued a goal to offer instruction, understanding and wisdom. There is a repeated theme in Proverbs that “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”. Wisdom is the focus of proverbs with emphasis on developing the Godly character of its reader. Every Christian should strive at becoming more Godly in character. Proverbs 18:21 is no exception. In this passage Solomon highlights 4 major points to ponder.
- Words Cause Death: Tongues can be weapons of mass destruction. Tongues can kill marriages, families, friendships, churches, careers, and dreams.
- Words Cause Life: The tongue can be “a tree of life” according to Proverbs 15:4. Tongues can make marriages sweet, families strong, and churches healthy.
- Fruit is Forthcoming: A person’s words is figuratively called the fruit of his mouth or lips in Proverbs 12:14 and Proverbs 13:2. The positive words from your tongue will Bless your Life in a positive way. The good words that come from your mouth can open doors, uplift you when you are down and create fruitful lasting relationships. However, the negative words that come from the mouth can Bring your Death. Your words will either bring the fruit of life or the fruit of death.
- Choices Are Crucial: What lies at the foot of this passage is the power to choose. Life is all about choices. We can choose to speak life or choose to speak death. Most of who we are, good or bad, is because of what we have spoken about ourselves. You will either love to talk positively or negatively. Either way, you will choose the outcome.
In 1973 Roberta Flack hit the R&B charts with a song called Killing Me Softly. It was as if the words to a song sung by a young man shone a light on everything that was wrong with her life. “Strumming my pain with his fingers. Singing my life with his words. Killing me softly with his song.” We have a tendency to see ourselves based on what we feel others think about us and we talk our own self into defeat. The man didn’t know her, knew nothing about her pain or her past. Yet, she allowed his words to kill her softly.
Sociologists have a theory called the Looking Glass Self. It was developed by Charles Horton Cooley in 1902 with a premise that a person’s self grows out of societal relationships. The term refers to people that shape their concept of self based on their perception of how others see them. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we see ourselves the way God sees us instead of worrying about how others see us. If that were the case our words would bring life based on the fact that God sees us as His masterpiece.
How do you change negative communication?
- Pause: Take the time to think before you speak and life will be so much easier. Proverbs 10:19 – “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is” There is an old adage that says, “It is better to be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.”
- Pray: Ask God to bring your speech under control. And then rely on His power to transform you. As the Psalmist prayed in Psalm 19:14 is another prayer: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
- Practice: Practice kind words and your inward and outward conversations will improve with time. Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
- Praise: Hebrews 13:15 – By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
On the last night of 2015 many people are contemplating New Years resolutions but consider a most viable asset to success in 2016; the tongue. Are you killing yourself with the words that come from your mouth? Let the killing end tonight. Make a vow that negative talk that defeats, depresses and denounces ends tonight!
Because of Him!
Dr. Oscar T. Moses