Revive Me, Week 14– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21).
- Attacking instead of defending a position with dignity— We are to “be ready to give a defense” (1 Pet. 3:15). We are to be passionate about the Truth (Jude 3). But in that passionate defense, we need to make sure we are not neglecting to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).
- Overusing sarcasm– When speaking to or about others, sarcasm can smack of arrogance. Just because we’re quick-witted enough to use it doesn’t mean we should. Let’s not be snarkastic (to borrow my husband’s word) when a gentle answer would be more powerful (Prov. 15:1).
- Making disparaging remarks— When someone is struggling with personal battles, the last thing they need to hear when they show up for worship is, “What? You don’t own a tie?” We assume that others are strong enough to bear whatever we dish out but we don’t always know their spiritual state. Our innocent but thoughtless remarks could cause someone to leave feeling beat down instead of built up.
- Speaking in exasperation— Since we spend the most time with our families, we can have more moments of irritation and annoyance with them. Let’s be sure to cherish those relationships by interacting with patience and respect.
If a loved one is the one being discouraged by the words of another, we feel very protective and indignant. We wonder why someone didn’t think before they spoke, why they thought it was okay to be so free with their careless opinion. We need to feel that same level of protection toward everyone. We will be held accountable for what we say/ post to or about others (Matt. 12:36).
- Building others up— It doesn’t take much effort but oh what good can be done by thoughtful words (1 Thess. 5:11)!
- Commending/ praising/ blessing others– This is one way we can look to the interests of others (Phil. 2:3,4)
- Loving others— We’re commanded to love one another (1 John 4:7,8) so why shouldn’t we tell each other we do?
- Sharing the good news– The best way to give life is to tell about the One who is Life (John 14:6).
- Expressing gratitude— I don’t think it can be overdone.
- Encouraging others– Many are quietly serving. We can encourage them by telling them they make a difference.
To speak tenderly means to speak lovingly and gently. Let’s determine to speak tenderly in every interaction. We represent Christ. Our life-giving words will clearly demonstrate that.
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Suggestions for the Week:
- Use the power of your tongue this week to encourage:
- Face to face– Make it your mission to encourage at least 15 different people
- Social media– 10 posts that will encourage the church as a whole or a specific person
- Email– send to 5 different people pointing out their strengths
- Traditional mail– Write to 3 different people thanking them for their service
- Phone– Call a shut-in to brighten their day
2. When communicating in whatever form, remember the words of Thumper.
3. Focus your personal Bible study this week on the power of the tongue.
4. Ask God to help you see when you are being thoughtless or careless with remarks.
Study it. Memorize it. Live it.