Our Words by Cynthia Moore
Our women’s luncheon was awesome – as always. We begin with a pot luck lunch, go upstairs for praise and worship and have a guest speaker. This month’s speaker was Cynthia Moore – Pastor Don’s wife – and boy did she give us a message that was so convicting – homework too!!! Our next meeting is November 21 and you are welcome – we begin at 1 and are pretty much done by 4. It is a good group of women, and there is plenty of fellowship and friendship.
To begin the meeting we were each given an index card and told to anonymously write a recent negative event that happened, and record what we said at the time of the event and what we said to others after the event. We passed those cards in to be used later in the meeting.
Cynthia held up the Bible and said, this is the Word of God. We have it. We need it. It teaches us. We need to hear and obey. God’s words are life to us.
1 Samuel 15:22-23 So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”
When we do God’s word we receive blessing, favor, and He makes our paths more smooth. If we don’t do His Word our lives are not very god.
God tells us: DO NOT WORRY, and He tells us to FORGIVE those who offend us. We often say, “I can’t help worrying. How can I forgive them?” But when we don’t obey God in this we will find that worry and unforgiveness can lead to stress which leads to disease. We need to obey what God tells us or we end up harming ourselves.
BELIEVE, KNOW, TRUST God’s Word. When we do deal with our experiences through the truth of God’s Word, God works supernaturally in our lives. The more experience we have with God and following His Word, then we learn how beneficial it is, and we begin to trust God more and more, and know that He has our best interests at heart. We need to trust Him even in our bad situations. He will get us through.
To follow God’s Word in our lives means we have to KNOW GOD”S WORD. If we don’t know what the Word says, how can we follow it? We need to read the Scriptures so we know what to say and believe. The Bible is the Living Word. It is not imperfect, it is the pure Word of God – it is real and accurate.
If we don’t know what we should pray regarding a situation, seek the Scriptures for a story or a verse that shows us what God has promised. Cynthia also told us when God repeats something in His Word it is for emphasis and should be taken to mean that God means it.
Our tongues speak our words and thoughts, and we need to master what our tongues say. Look in a concordance to see what God has to say about the situation, believe God’s Word, speak God’s Word. We want God’s Word to be the Word that comes off our tongues.
Even if we read Scripture and know His Word, we don’t always speak it. Why? Sometimes it is our upbringing. We might have spent our formative years with people who always viewed a situation as negative. And without thinking we model ourselves after that kind of negative behavior and thinking.
God wants us to give the Glory to Him, for what He has done in us.
Cynthia shared how someone told her mother that Cynthia looks like her mom, and her mom’s reply was, “Oh poor thing.” What kind of message did that send to Cynthia? When she was growing up her best friend’s mother used to respond to every situation negatively. That becomes a habit, and we need to break the negativity habit.
Some people don’t know how to say something in a positive way. Some think people don’t take them seriously if they are too positive, that they have to be mean, negative, or strong to be heard.
We need to believe God’s Word and say what God’s Word says. Then, no matter our circumstances, we can have the peace that passes all understanding.
There is a big difference between TRUTH AND FACT.
They can run in parallel directions. The worldly and spiritual are always going on at the same time. When we perceive that something is wrong in the world, we need to put the WORD above the World. The TRUTH of God’s Word in place of the fact. The fact may be that it seems to be a bad day, but the TRUTH is that we are blessed and highly favored.
Cynthia read from a book called Hung by the Tongue Written by Francis Martin. He tells us that to control our mouth we have to control our mind and what we think. Proverbs 23:7a For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. There was more that she read from this source, it seems to be a good book, but may not be easy to obtain.
We need to accept that Scripture is literal. These are spiritual principles that the Word contains that God set forth. They are always operating. For example, the principle of sowing and reaping. Sometimes knowing these principles does not make it any easier to follow them. But God’s Word is truth, and as we follow these principles we learn that we cannot beat God at giving.
Luke 6:37-38 Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
If you spend your time criticizing people, you will reap criticism and receive judgments yourself. That does not mean we don’t judge, but how we judge is very important, and God knows our hearts.
If we want to be blessed, sow blessings to others and we will reap blessings.
There are three things that will help us with our tongues: 1) prayer; 2) awareness; and 3) work and yieldedness.
PRAYER- God helps us, we can’t do anything without God helping us. It takes time and effort on our part to learn our Scriptures and open up the Word, but God will use the Word to teach us, guard us, and help us to change. Invoke God’s love.
1 Corinthians 13 is the Love Chapter – and it tells us that Love never fails. We can’t do anything without love. If our life is not moving the way we want it to, we need to check our love walk. We want things to come from a heart of love. We don’t want to act out of anger and resentment. Let our words be words of love. If we have to say tough words to someone, we may have to say them a different way so that they can be received. Speak the truth in love.
AWARENESS: We need to be aware of what we are saying. Listen to ourselves, get a monitor (a friend or family member) who will point out when we are speaking negatively. Ask their help. Tell them we are trying to learn to speak more positively and ask them to let us know when we are not. It can be tough to have someone point it out, but if we really want to change, we need to be aware of when we are being negative.
Cynthia then pointed out that there are times when we need to vent – and the way to do that is to get with someone that you have a positive relationship with and let them know that you are venting. It has to be a trusted person who can then pray with you, and one that you know that what you are venting will not be repeated to others. And when you vent, don’t do it with character assassination. Hopefully they will help you to find constructive things to say or do.
When you do have a legitimate complaint and need to speak it to someone, be aware of how you are saying what you want to say. Don’t NIT PICK OR NAG. Choose your battles. Sometimes things are not worth getting upset about. Some things are so small you don’t want to let them get you upset. Overlook the small stuff.
It does take work to change our tongues. We have to do it though, to make the effort to retrain our mouth, learn how to say things a different way, and try to learn to use positive phrases.
For example if you want your husband to take out the garbage – don’t nag and question him repeatedly, “Did you take out the garbage?” Or say something like, “You never remember to take out the garbage.” A more positive way of saying things is to say something like, “I love it when you take out the garbage. Or thank you for taking out the garbage.”
And even if a person doesn’t do the perfect job, say nice things about the good parts they did. People are more motivated by complements than they are by negative things.
Avoid killer phrases such as: You ALWAYS….. or I’m just sick of you when you…..
Ecclesiastes 12:11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.
A goad has a sharp point on the end and is used to drive cattle, prod sheep, and get them doing the action that you want them to do, to move them along. Words that are carefully spoken will be heard and produce results. If something is said in a negative way it produces withdrawal and negativeness.
We can cause the person to BLOCK what we are saying if we are not careful how we present it.
We don’t know what they are saying, and sometimes we react to what they are doing but without knowing what is in the person’s mind. We can carefully ask and probe – saying things like: I am glad you did this today. What do you mean by that? (Heather’s comment: check your tone of voice when you say that though) Or, Oh, thank you for that.
We can cause them to BLOCK us invasively if we say things the wrong way, they can deliberately do the opposite.
They can be BLOCKING US DUE TO PAST HISTORY. Either their past or we box them in with statements like “You are never any good at fixing the car, I’ll have to deal with it myself. With the car you might want to ask the person if they want to look at it or do they want you to get a mechanic.
Change your words, your attitudes, your heart, and you will begin to see results.
TRY NOT TO ACT IN RETALIATION. You can get angry, but before you retaliate, go back to the book. Read Psalm 30 & 31. In times of trouble the Psalms are a good place to go – The psalmists have had their problems, write about them, but they always end up back at the truth that God is there.
We looked at some selected verses of Psalm 30 & 31. I will share the ones Cynthia highlighted.
Psalm 30:1-2 I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me.O LORD my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.
Psalm 30:5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
There is a richness and fullness in the Psalms.
Psalm 31:3 For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.
Psalm 31:5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
Psalm 31:7-8 I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities, and have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a wide place.
Psalm 31:20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
Love is so important, it is in Love that God’s promises are fulfilled.
We then broke up into small groups and divided up those index cards we wrote at the beginning of the session. We read the situation and discussed what the person did, if they did it correctly or if they needed to say things a different way. It was interesting to think about situations – even though we didn’t know the whole story behind the situation it was helpful to think about ways to present the response in a positive manner. Also we could figure out certain responses probably didn’t get results and others did.
Then Cynthia gave us the following handout that contained some scriptures about the tongue, not all of them were the usual ones.
A WHOLESOME TONGUE IS A TREE OF LIFE.
James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.
James 3:2-10 (excerpts) ….If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body…Look also at ships: and though they are so large…they are turned by a very small rudder…the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how a great forest a little fire kindles…no man can tame the tongue..Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not be so.
Psalms 15:1-3 Who may dwell in your holy hill?…he who..does not backbite with his tongue.
Psalm 34:13 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
Psalm 39:1 …I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle…
Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteous.
Proverbs 6:16-17 These six things the Lord hates…A proud look, a lying tongue
Proverbs 10:19-20 In a multitude of words, sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver…
Proverbs 12:18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.
Proverbs 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 15:23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from trouble.
Cynthia told us it is a psychological fact that it takes 30 days to break a habit. She gave us note pads and told us we should write down every negative statement we make. And suggested that we find trusted individuals to tell us if they notice negative speaking in our words. Also to find an accountability partner to answer to regarding our negative words.
She suggested we can tell the impact of our words by having an awareness of a person’s body language after you make a statement.
She also pointed out there are going to be people who do not want us to change, and that could cause challenges for us. She gave us some good techniques to deal with issues. For example if you want to get your car to a garage to get repaired and you want to make sure your husband isn’t offended by that. You could ask him, on a scale of 1-10 how badly do you want to repair the car rather than have me take it to the garage? Some things are not as important as other things for people. When you begin to realize what really matters you can adjust your requests accordingly.
Another technique is the third person technique – ask yourself how you would speak to another person regarding the issue, and what advice would you give them. Communicate using those words instead of your words. Suggest that you and your spouse try to get out of yourselves and figure out how you would advise someone else with the same problem.
We should either be assisting or be absent. Walk away if you have to rather than speaking negativity into the situation.
You have to take the first steps so you begin to speak more positively. Tell yourself that you can add the negative later if you have to.
We stood up and read the following verse:
Psalm 39:1 1st three lines: I said, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,…”
Then we sat and looked at the following verses:
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Mark 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
We need to guard our tongues like a tiger with a muzzle.
We were given the following equation:
God’s process + our process = God’s provision.
God’s grace is sufficient and we will prosper when we work and daily use His guidance. We will not be victims. We will be blessed.
Cynthia gave us much to think about and do. If we apply this teaching to our lives, we will make dramatic changes.
Have a blessed day!
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