"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my rock, and my Redeemer."
This is a verse I have memorized and pray often, and yet I fail often obeying it.This is especially true with family when we tend to share our hearts with one another. We often find ourselves bearing all with family members, and think it is ok. We talk about one another to each other thinking it is acceptable, because we are family. But the truth is judging and criticizing one another is not pleasing to God nor should it be to each other. I realize oftentimes we unload because we are truly grieved over choices being made with the people we love most that aren’t pleasing to God, but we need to take our concerns to the Lord more often than we spend time discussing it with each other. How easy it is to see answers when we aren’t the ones in the struggles we all encounter in life.
If a heart is filled with compassion and love the words we speak are usually pleasing to those we are speaking with even when confronting conflict. One of the worst things we can do to our family is to constantly be criticizing one another to each other. We all have done it, but we need to see the damage it does, not profiting anyone.
I look to Jesus and His words, because I know it is the only thing that has the power to change me. In Matthew I found Jesus addressing the Pharisees, and we all have the same tendencies as the religious crowd without staying in His Word for truth to transform us.
Matthew 12:34-37 declares:
"You brood of vipers, how can you being evil speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it on the day of judgement. For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned."
How I thank God for His Holy Spirit that convicts and doesn’t leave me as I am. I know with earnest confession and praying for forgiveness I can be cleansed and forgiven. (1 John 1:9)
How difficult it is not to speak out of a heart filled with human emotions rather than the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. It is clear we must do as Scripture says:
"My Son, give attention to my words. Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart, for they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the springs of life.
This scripture implies that whatever we allow to enter our hearts, if not sifted and evaluated properly, will undoubtedly be manifested in our lives and actions. Simply said, "Input produces output." Therefore, I try to fill myself with scripture and get prayed up before big family gatherings. I want to speak words of life in my children’s and grandchildren’s lives.
Proverbs 18:21 proclaims:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and those who love it will eat its fruit."
We are either speaking life or death into one another’s lives. One thing I have learned for sure is if I am giving my children the Word of God instead of my opinion I know I amgiving themthe truth, and Words of Life. The following verses in 1 Peter 3:8-12 helps sum up the message beautifully and powerfully I am attempting to convey, most of all to myself, and to all reading this devotional:
To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind hearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for this very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, the one who desires life, and to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it; For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
May we all truly meditate on the Word, so we might have pleasing thoughts to God in our hearts, and then we will speak words of life into one another’s lives, rather than our futile thoughts and opinions which profit little if any in comparison to the Words of God. I personally know it is my only hope for making an eternal difference in my family’s life. Again I remind each of us it is the family that makes up society and our churches. Our nation will only be as strong as the families who reside in it. May we all know the truth and value of God’s design for the family, and let us discern what keeps our focus in life from being where it is most needed.
In His love.
Photos from a beautiful run this week back at Hanging Rock State Park in Stokes County, NC. However it did end with a sprained ankle on the last, easiest mile! Just a part of life.