Photo by Courtney Clayton on Unsplash
I can remember thinking this 10 years ago as I began my journey to seek to become a godly woman and wife. Almost everything I used to say was in one of these negative categories – complaining, criticizing, insulting, arguing, pride, disrespect, self-righteousness, gossip, bitterness, resentment, etc…
At first, I realized that almost every word out of my mouth was sinful in origin. I was completely mortified and overwhelmed.
So I got really quiet. Because I didn’t want to sin with my words like I had been doing. I call this The Frustrating Quiet Phase.
And, for a while, I couldn’t figure out what I could possibly talk about that didn’t fall into some sinful category. How humbling! Thankfully, eventually, the Lord began to help me see that there were things I could talk about that were not sinful.
I used to talk almost constantly – with no filter on my words. I don’t need to talk as much as I used to these days. But I can talk! And there are wonderful things I can say.
It just requires a huge paradigm shift. I lay down my old thinking and ways of talking. And I embrace a new way – God’s way – and my new nature in Jesus.
Words Can Be Used to Speak Life
I can choose to not allow my mouth, words, and thoughts to be instruments of the enemy or my sinful nature. My words can speak death, but I no longer want to do that! I want my tongue and sinful nature to be crucified in Christ and I want to live in my new nature. As a believer in Christ, I can choose to yield my thoughts, motives, and words to the Lord to be used as instruments of righteousness.
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. Rom. 6:13
34 Productive Ways to Use My Words
- Encouraging and building up other people.
- Talking about good things.
- Sharing godly wisdom I am learning (with those who are receptive).
- Sharing stories of God’s goodness and His victory in my life and other people’s lives.
- Teaching others spiritual treasures – once the Lord leads me and I am ready.
- Teaching other people other things that I know how to do.
- Instructing my children in God’s Word and in His ways.
- Asking friendly questions to get to know others better.
- Talking about things for which I am thankful.
- Inviting other people to share so I can learn from them.
- Noticing and mentioning how beautiful and amazing God’s creation is.
- Giving sincere compliments to others – as appropriate.
- Sharing the truth of God in love, humility, gentleness, and respect as the Lord leads me.
- Sharing kind words.
- Humor (that is not insulting or sinful).
- Reminding myself of God’s promises and speaking them out loud.
- Talking about fun or meaningful memories.
- Talking about interesting things that have happened.
- Talking about various subjects and passions that I enjoy or people around me enjoy.
- Extending empathy and sympathy to those who are hurting.
- Speaking spiritual, emotional, and physical healing and blessing to others.
- Witnessing and sharing the love and truth of the Gospel of Jesus.
- Talking about plans and dreams (while keeping in mind to seek the Lord’s will above all of my plans).
- Sharing my concerns in respectful ways.
- Sharing about my day and focusing primarily on the good things – and looking for the good even in the difficult things.
- Updating people about family and friends – without gossiping.
- Informing others about important things I need to tell them about – even problems – but in ways that honor the Lord.
- Addressing sin in humble, respectful, gentle God-honoring ways.
- Setting appropriate boundaries and limits on those who continue in unrepentant sin toward me.
- Sharing my desires and feelings in vulnerable, gracious ways.
- Praying with a prayer partner.
- Journalling about my struggles, what I am learning, and my prayers.
- Praying to the Lord.
- Praising God.
Of course, there are many other things, too. This is just a list to get us started.
As I learn to use my words for blessing and righteousness, I will need to allow the Holy Spirit to filter my words. A lot of things don’t need to be spoken. Many things are harmful. So my words will be fewer once I allow the Holy Spirit to bridle my tongue. I will choose my words more carefully. And I will take more time to listen and to seek to understand before responding. I may even pray before I have an important discussion to make sure I am listening to the Lord and His Word and responding in ways that honor Him.
I have also found that I can connect in other ways without words. I can enjoy sitting quietly and cuddling with my husband while he watches something he likes on tv or while we watch something we both like. I have learned that it is possible to feel deeply connected without a constant stream of dialogue. It is actually pretty freeing to realize this!
Some other things I love to do is soak in God’s Word, listen to sermons/biblical teaching, minister to others, or read books to help me grow in my faith.
What kinds of positive things have you found that you can talk about? How are you doing with your 21 day fast from negative words? Any struggles or problems you want to talk about together? Maybe we can encourage each other. 💜❤️💜
Another Challenge! Let Your Yes Mean Yes and Your No Mean No – How to communicate our desires vulnerably and directly