If I Stop the Negative Talk – What on Earth Will I Talk about?

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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

34Β Productive Ways to Use My Words

  1. Encouraging and building up other people.
  2. Talking about good things.
  3. Sharing godly wisdom I am learning (with those who are receptive).
  4. Sharing stories of God’s goodness and His victory in my life and other people’s lives.
  5. Teaching others spiritual treasures – once the Lord leads me and I am ready.
  6. Teaching other people other things that I know how to do.
  7. Instructing my children in God’s Word and in His ways.
  8. Asking friendly questions to get to know others better.
  9. Talking about things for which I am thankful.
  10. Inviting other people to share so I can learn from them.
  11. Noticing and mentioning how beautiful and amazing God’s creation is.
  12. Giving sincere compliments to others – as appropriate.
  13. Sharing the truth of God in love, humility, gentleness, and respect as the Lord leads me.
  14. Sharing kind words.
  15. Humor (that is not insulting or sinful).
  16. Reminding myself of God’s promises and speaking them out loud.
  17. Talking about fun or meaningful memories.
  18. Talking about interesting things that have happened.
  19. Talking about various subjects and passions that I enjoy or people around me enjoy.
  20. Extending empathy and sympathy to those who are hurting.
  21. Speaking spiritual, emotional, and physical healing and blessing to others.
  22. Witnessing and sharing the love and truth of the Gospel of Jesus.
  23. Talking about plans and dreams (while keeping in mind to seek the Lord’s will above all of my plans).
  24. Sharing my concerns in respectful ways.
  25. Sharing about my day and focusing primarily on the good things – and looking for the good even in the difficult things.
  26. Updating people about family and friends – without gossiping.
  27. Informing others about important things I need to tell them about – even problems – but in ways that honor the Lord.
  28. Addressing sin in humble, respectful, gentle God-honoring ways.
  29. Setting appropriate boundaries and limits on those who continue in unrepentant sin toward me.
  30. Sharing my desires and feelings in vulnerable, gracious ways.
  31. Praying with a prayer partner.
  32. Journalling about my struggles, what I am learning, and my prayers.
  33. Praying to the Lord.
  34. 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.

SHARE

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. πŸ’œβ€οΈπŸ’œ

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11 Replies to “If I Stop the Negative Talk – What on Earth Will I Talk about?”

  1. Thank you so much for this! I printed out a copy of the list and will hang it on my wall at my desk so I see it often πŸ™‚ God bless!!

  2. Yes, April, this is definitely a good word. I almost left w/o commenting and telling you so, but I realized that in itself was a place to use good words to bring encouragement to you πŸ™‚ How often we get in a hurry and miss these little opportunities to speak GOOD words that could mean so much to those who hear. I know that God blesses you with great insights into HIS word. I pray that He would continue to pour out those blessings more and more, as you are a great laborer in His fields. πŸ™‚ May we also all remember that words that we sow, will be those that we reap. I’m so thankful that I was able to sow encouragement today since I am always needing that myself!!

    1. mission61,

      Aw! Yes, this is a huge encouragement to me. Thank you for taking the time to share this blessing. And thank you for your prayers that God would work in my life so I can pour out more of His goodness here. That is one of my deepest prayers! Thank you for your insights.

      I appreciate your willingness to speak life to me today. What a blessing!

  3. Thank you for this! I find this really hard when dealing with husband/family members who are not saved. I am in the quiet phase because I don’t always know how to respond or know what to say. I pray for guidance a lot for my mouth because I do not want to ruin my witness. Sometimes I think my quietness may come off as rudeness when really I am thinking and praying to myself about how to respond or if I need to say anything at all.

    1. AP,

      With husbands and family members who are unbelievers, you are around them a lot. And it does require great wisdom and discernment and the power of the Spirit to know exactly how to handle these things. When to speak up and what to say and when to quietly wait and pray – there is not a magic formula for this. But the Spirit can definitely prompt you and help you know what to do and what to say, how to say it, and when to say it.

      When in doubt, silence is sometimes the best response. But I pray with you for God’s clear wisdom and empowerment so that you might shine for the Lord and your husband and family may see Christ in you. I pray with you for their salvation.

      I have a number of posts on the topic of having an unbelieving husband if you are interested.

      Much love!

    2. One thing that helps me is to praise God all over the house when I am there by myself and to invite the Spirit in and to declare the authority and promises of Jesus over the home and relationships. πŸ’œβ€οΈπŸ’œ

  4. Hi April Its Shy,

    I feel bad I forgot about the fast that I agreed to start. I will restart today. Okay so here is the issue I’m having; not only is my speech negative; but most of the people I know fit into the sin speech category. My question is how I steer clear of negative conversations; especially when that’s all we’ve talked about together? I plan to be positive then someone pulls me into the negative, its all around me. I want to be positive and talk less because I talk way too much with out a filter. Lord help

    1. Shy,

      This is true for just about all of us. Sometimes with closer friends and family, you can let them know you are doing a fast like this and invite them to join. Other times, people may not be open to that. You can listen sympathetically if they truly are having a problem. Like in this post, “When a Friend Complains, Shouldn’t I Commiserate?”.

      Or you can seek to redirect the conversation to something more edifying. Or, there are some times when you may have to limit conversations and exposure if some people are really toxic.

      You can set a new example and encourage people when they talk about positive things. You can pray for yourself and others and for God’s Spirit to work to help heal all of you.

      You can pray to change the spiritual atmosphere.

      You can focus on things you are thankful for and on good things in your heart.

      If others are gossiping or doing a lot of complaining, you may even say, with a right spirit, “I just really can’t listen to this. It’s not healthy. Let’s talk about something more constructive.”

      Or, “I know that I have participated in a lot of negative conversations in the past. I’m realizing that this is not healthy for me or for anyone else who listens to me. I’d like to change the way we talk about things together to try to focus on more positive things. What do you think? Maybe we can help keep each other accountable?”

      Much love!

  5. Hi April,
    As I started this fast, I’m also seeing that almost every word that comes out of my mouth is sinful in some way. It has shown me that I need to get my heart cleaned up because there is a lot of negativity in my heart. I’m going to cry out to God in repentance for all of my sin and ask for his healing and grace.

    1. Nikki,

      That is exactly what God showed me 10 years ago (and of course, something I must continue to monitor, as must we all). It is overwhelming! Mortifying. And extremely humbling. The only response we really can have is to cry out and ask God to help us. We sure can’t do this on our own! Praying with you for His healing and power to help us all walk in the victory of Christ.

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