Series: #SpeechTherapy.. the words of my mouth (part 4)

Hey BCU Family,

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer (Psalms 19:14).

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about #SpeechTherapy and how it starts in the heart. We looked at the wicked hearts of Haman (Esther 3), and royal couple, Jezebel and Ahab (I Kings 21). Also we looked at some of the effects of the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Now that we have our and/or are working on keeping our hearts and minds clear, we want to look at HOW we communicate and the severity of not communicating God’s way.

A few years back, I saw a little bit of a movie called “1000 words” on TV. Eddie Murphy was in it and I believe the premise was he talked so badly and so much, that someone his character  made a deal with had this tree pop up that had a thousand leaves on it. So every time Eddie Muphry’s character spoke a word, a leaf fell off. Once all the leaves fell off, it was time for the character to die, so he got real careful about the words he was speaking —only doing so when needed. (I didn’t see the end so I don’t know what happened).

While this was a fictional movie, there is biblical proof because we also have a responsibility over the words we speak:

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37. 

So, we have to give an account for every IDLE word we speak! The Greek phrase is idle word is “rema argos”, meaning “careless, inactive or unprofitable words.”

How many careless or non-profitable words do we speak daily? I don’t know about you, but now that we know this, it’s time to make sure the words we sow yield a profit. This is not to say we DO NOT speak up against sin, injustices, questioning something that bothers you, get angry, upset, talking a struggle over with a godly friend—if you are discussing it with a pure heart and intentions, the nothing unwholesome will come out of your mouth. When we get bashing, name calling, gossipy, messy, those things that come out of an unclean heart, that’s where the trouble is.

What are some of things that happen when out speech is undisciplined? Loquaciousness— a fancy word for talking too much.

A. Thoughtless talk

A fool utters all his mind, but a wise man keeps it in until afterward/holds them back (Proverbs 29:11). It’s unwise to just tell people how you feel, give them a piece of your mind, tell them off, I just had to get it off my chest—etc. There will be times where we need to speak up, we just need God’s wisdom and follow His direction for the proper timing.

At had a incident on a job where an individual  seemed like they were playing “stump the chump” with me. In other words, when I gave a directive to the co-workers we were they “overrode” it. In FRONT of everybody.

Now you know, I was as hot as a firecracker on the 4th of July! I’m SOOOO grateful the we took a break shortly afterward and I went straight to the loo and head throne of grace—I needed God to help me with that. That’s a trigger for me—correcting is one thing, but I have an issue if you’re trying to embarrass me by challenging what I’m saying in a certain authoritative tone and manner. No ma’am, no sir.

So anyway, I’m not sure if co-worker sensed something or the Lord tapped them on the shoulder, but they did come and ask me was there anything they could have done differently or something like that. And with God’s grace I politely told them person what they did. They assured me it wasn’t intended that way and somewhat straightened it out, (I’d have done things differently), but that ok, the Lord worked it out. Who knows what would have come out if I had said something right in front of everyone..I may have compromised my witness, displeased God, had to be chastened for disobedience.

#Bottom line: We may be justified in feeling wronged or angry about something, we need to pause and pray before we say.

B.  LONGGG talk

In the multitude if words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise (Proverbs 10:19).

Do you know anyone who just talks, talks, talks, talks, talks? Do you play “dodgeball” when you see them, hoping to avoid a long, drawn-out, fruitless conversation? Do you already have something planned or time your meeting with Chatterbox so you have to go by a certain time OR are you the CHATTERER? It’s one thing if we are talking about things that are wholesome and edifying, and no, everything is not serious, so laughter is in order as well. For many of us who avoid the Chatterer, the CONTENT of the conversation is repetitious, long-winded, disjointed, hard to follow, can get gossipy, slanderous, messy, details get added…and idle words can creep in.

This Scripture is not dissuading us from talking to someone about concerns, situations, seeking godly counsel, or venting. We want to be sure to take things to the Lord first, ask Him IF we should talk to so-and-so and THEN tell your story with as much brevity AND detail as possible. Before you launch into your story, ask the person if this is a good time or how much time they have.

We talk about that in a class at work and to be honest, until I started teaching that concept, I don’t know if I was ever conscious about checking with people time wise to see if it was a good time for THEM. I just plopped on down and started talking! We don’t know the responsibilities the hearer has and how flexible they may or may not be. Maybe you didn’t come up for air long enough for hearer to say, “I have a doctor’s appointment in 30 minutes.” Then we feel gypped because we didn’t get to tell the story or feel hearer is insensitive or doesn’t care. Did you care to ASK the person, “do you have about 30 minutes or so, really need to talk this out?” Is it really an emergency, or can you pray and wait until hearer can get settled so they can give you undivided attention?

And this extends past talking to friends…what us speakers who are allowed 10 minutes to give a reflection or speak on a topic? We launch into 3-4 choruses of a rousing song that goes 7 minutes and then you want to start the clock for your 10. Or we start to tell an unrelated story with a lot of detail and then go into the topic. Not right. Yes, we have to allow for the Holy Spirit to have His way—as long as the Spirit is moving, then we yield to Him. It’s the flesh aka the tongue or a spirit of pride and disobedience where we feel it’s okay to take more time. This effects others who have to speak or carry on part of the program after you. Think of the person who is last on the program, spent time and effort to prepare their work, only to have it cut to two minutes because it’s time to go? This is a matter is respect and obedience. Philippians 2:3 says let NOTHING be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other not highly that yourselves. Think about the other person before yourself.

#BottomLine: talk long,talk wrong!

This week, with the help of the Lord, let’s pay attention to the triggers—the things that set of our impatience/hasty speech patterns —what is it about the slow speaker that really bothers you? How is it that cutting someone off, interrupting a conversation or changing the conversation to what YOU want to talk about giving God glory and helping others. How did we make the other person feel? You don’t care? God does and we will have to answer for it. Let’s start minimizing our account and  ask the Lord to help us not to be reactive in the mouth, rather to handle the situation HIS way. Amen? Amen!

Thank you so much for tuning in and until the next time we are together, #StayOnTheWall.

Love,
BCU

Series: #SpeechTherapy..it starts in the heart! (part 2)

 

Hey BCU family,

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

We prepped and started heart surgery last time, realizing we may harbor too many old and bad things in the heart/mind, and bad meditations get you in trouble! We saw that with the evil-thought/actioned Haman in Esther 3. We need to understand that many of the adverse thoughts the enemy brings are rooted in lust that is spoken of in I John 2:15-17, followed by some examples.

Do not love the world or anything in the world, if anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, comes NOT from the Father, but from the world. The world and the lusts pass away, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

  • lust of the eyes (Esau wanted Jacob’s stew and sold his birthright for it in Genesis 25:30-34).
  • lust of the flesh (many of us know all about David & Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11:1-4).
  • and pride of life (besides Haman in Esther 3), King Herod who gave a speech, was lauded by the people, and the angel of the Lord smote him for not giving God the glory (Acts 12:21-23).

This is a fixed fight you know, and God wants us to be victorious over our heart meditations and gives us the Word in which to do it. Let’s go back to Romans 12:1  from a previous study. I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. Verse 2 says not to be conformed to the world but transformed by the renewing (ongoing) of your mind, that you may test or prove what is that good and acceptable perfect will of God. When we offer up our bodies, that includes the heart and mind. Acceptable means welcomed, well-pleasing and favorable. And we cannot present our bodies properly if the mind/heart isn’t right. Let’s talk about the lust of the eye.

*Since eyes are the windows to the soul, this lust tied to the soul and emotions. For the most part, every lust comes from a desire that is good. There is NOTHING wrong with desiring something—God gives us the desires of our heart when we delight ourselves in Him (Psalm 37:4). We desire to work, have things, work in a ministry, to be married—those are GOOD things. Where we have to be mindful is how the enemy can pervert good desires in your heart with thoughts that are contrary to how God commands us to think speak or act.  When you start to covet, plot, scheme, start working overtime, missing church, saving your tithes and offering money, not paying your bills, all to get “things”, that’s where the lust comes in. Let’s look at 1 Kings 21:1-16.

The story is, Naboth had a vineyard that the king, Ahab wanted (or coveted) BADLY. Naboth refused and Ahab was so upset about it, he would not even eat. Queen Jezebel found out and devised a HEINOUS plot to lie on and have Naboth killed–and then told the king the vineyard was now his to have. Just.like.that. This couple did not care that an innocent man was killed, his family likely very devastated—it did not matter who they needed to step on to get what they wanted, so long as they got it.

Can this apply to us? Perhaps not to this extreme…but let’s think about it from a few angles. For my singles..wanting to get married because you “see” everyone else is in a relationship, so you go out of our way, or rather “out of God’s way” to make it happen. When you get Mr. or Ms. NotRightNow, things go great initially (that’s how the enemy does it), and then he lowers the BOOM and you have a crazoks on your hands!  Let’s ask God to keep us content with what we have, and bless us with “extra” as He sees fit.

I Timothy 6:6-8 says, but godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment, let us be content.

Or, think about the times you may have wanted something so badly you missed important date or responsibility just to get it. In my early saved days, I skipped paying a bill to get a pair of shoes. I cannot tell you where those shoes are, what they looked like or where they are today! I can tell you I had a hard time recouping that money to pay my bill. All because of wanting something someone else had/ wanting something SO bad. A covetous heart. A desire gone bad.

Okay, what about the lust of the eye/desire to “play.” The purpose is socializing; taking a break..maybe talking a bit at work, playing Candy crush or a binging on a movie marathon. We all like to relax the mind–and that is a good thing.

What happens when the scales start tipping to the lust of wanting more play than work? This is when chronic slothful/laziness creeps in. A Sunday off here, missing a study there, half-doing what you’ve been called to do, not tending house, not taking care of yourself, burying your talent, not calling a sister, sending a note of encouragement, or maybe witnessing—all because you don’t feel like it, not in the mood, need a break from the people, the chores, etc, or have gotten into the habit of a Lifetime Movie Marathon or the whatever your go-to play routine is. While we all need days to unplug, recharge and refresh, we are accountable for the time God gives us and we have way too much responsibility to practice slothfulness on the regular. With God’s grace, let’s ask for wisdom to know how to spend the time He gives us.

See then that you walk circumspectly not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Do not be unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:15-17).

What about the desire to be safe? Keeping/knowing our loved ones are safe? Our jobs are safe, the bridge is safe, etc. We teach at work that feeling safe is a basic need—NOTHING wrong with that desire–in the right place. Where things go too far is when the emotion FEAR comes in. Fear can come on the form of cowardice, worry, panic, having irrational thoughts, making emotional decisions. Let’s not forget the unprofitable servant in Matthew 25 —the one who buried the talent? During accounting time, verse 25 says, the servant told his master he was AFRAID and went to hid his talent in the earth. The master called the servant wicked and slothful–and proceeded to cast him into outer darkness where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.

A bit back, a dear friend and sister in Christ got a message in between Sunday School and morning service that a family member had not been heard from since the night before—not answering phones, etc. Notice how the enemy timed this attempt right before service. What I loved was that the sister said something like “God knows where He is and I am not going to worry about it.” We prayed and it turned out he was fine, thank God!! Sister did not let fear take over. Now, I realize that there are scary situations out there—no doubt. We want to ask God to cover, keep and sustain our hearts from fear.

And we know that God has NOT given is a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

What about grief? That’s an innate desire when we lose a loved one or friend. The emotion connected to that is sadness. Perfectly normal. Now hear me good, grieving, sad days, crying spells are normal as we miss a person—birthdays, holidays, special times…

Where the enemy gets heart-busy is when the grief is extended to the point where one cannot function and stay in a state of depression for years at a time. We talked about that in Ruth 1 as Naomi vocalized her grief (after losing her husband and two sons) by telling the folks to call her Mara meaning bitter—because the Lord had dealt bitterly with her. While she went though the grieving process,at some point the Lord blessed her to start adjusting to the “new normal”, and she was used to bring Boaz and Ruth together. If Naomi had stayed grieving, she would not have been functional as to what God called her to do–and look at the result! Boaz and Ruth became great-grandparents to king David and mentioned in the lineage of Christ in Matthew 1.

To every thing, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Once again, let’s start paying more attention to your thoughts/ what’s in your heart. Ask God to show you (even if it’s painful), what areas need more attention or a purge. and ask for His help in overcoming them and creating a clean heart Psalm 51:10. Also, step up your gatekeeping of the heart as directed in Proverbs 4:23. Philippians 4:8 reminds us to think on true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy, think on THOSE things. I did not say not to talk to the Lord about what bothers you, we just want to take it there and LEAVE it there. Amen? Amen!

Join us next time as #SpeechTherapy continues with the lust of the flesh–you do not want to miss it! Thank you so much for stopping by/tuning in and until we meet again, #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

 

*See http://www.themoorings.org for a nifty chart and examples of lust gone awry!

Series: #SpeechTherapy..it starts in the heart!

Hey BCU family,

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

As we begin, think about a crowded refrigerator—I don’t know about you, but cleaning out the fridge is my least favorite chore!  If you don’t stay on top of it, things start to accumulate! Things like the containers with the leftover ziti, or a half of rotisserie chicken, or the package of ground turkey–those are big, up front and easy to see. Then, there are some of the other things, like that half carton of pork fried rice, the small bowl of cooked carrots you intended to eat or the carton of flavored creamer that was not your favorite. And let’s not forget the old orange or dried up potato that rolled in the back, the spilled milk, the mystery packages that have cake from the last church function (somehow that fell between the 2nd shelf and veggie crisper), the soggy veggies in the Ziplock bag, the half sandwich you brought home from work or the orange juice from last month.

And of course, you go to shop for NEW groceries—more milk, yogurt, produce, eggs, bacon, etc. I mean it’s a big fridge and you can sort of shuffle some things around for now. Then it gets late and you JUST do not feel like fooling with it at the moment. Rather than cook, you all may decide to go out for dinner and that is okay—you’ll have leftovers because the restaurant serves HUGE portions. And they go in the fridge.

You may not feel like a big meal the next night so you have some cereal, the night after that you have Bible study, so you get something on the road.  Next thing you know a month goes by and when you go by the fridge–it has a slight stench. Someone is going to clean it out right?! It doesn’t smell THAT bad. Plus, you are working late all this week, so you have NO time to clean it out. Then after that late work week, you know you need to get in there, because the stench is getting worse and when you open the refrigerator door—BAZINGA! Since no one else sees how crowded the fridge is, or is complaining about the fridge, or you live alone, you have to muster up the courage and go in to clean it properly.

When you first start, you are hesitant! I mean it STINKS and just looking at the green/white “fur” on some of the items, like the rice, the withered up orange, the cake and half-sandwich is a bit gross—ugh! You have to clean out the container with the ziti and cooked carrots, never mind the sour milk and orange juice containers, the slimy pork fried rice and withered produce. EWWWWWWWWWW! It’s difficult, and takes some time and a lot of scrubbing, rearranging and tossing things, but once you get in and get it done, you look at the finished work and you’re like, this looks MUCH better and feels good to complete the task.

What’s the point of my long fridge story? At some point in our lives, we’ve all had a fridge that has been been neglected to a point where out of necessity, overcrowding or the stench –you were URGED you to tend to it. The first step #SpeechTherapy is evaluating what is in your heart, since the Bible says out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).  Just like there are SO many things in that fridge, there are MANY things in the heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful above ALL things and desperately wicked: who can know it? Additionally, Matthew 15:18-20(a) says, but those things which proceed OUT of the mouth comes from the HEART and they DEFILE a man, for out the heart proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man.

These passages of Scripture are NEEDED reminders that our speech is a reflection of what is going on inside the heart. And THIS is the point of necessity—with God’s help we have to deal the overcrowding, the things hidden, covered, obvious—the stench of a heart that comes out in impatience, hurtful words, slaying someone (even with your words or a look), sexual immorality, taking things (maybe from work),  blasphemies (talking the Lord’s name in vain)—all these things defile (spot, stain or soil) or as my niece says “wrinkles up” your garment. We all (myself included) need to be spot and wrinkle free. Since God is giving us the time to do that, we want to get on it and stay on it. Time to clean “heart”.

It behooves us to pay close attention to what we feed and dwell on in our hearts. Of course, and I mention it every broadcast, we NEED the Holy Ghost down on the inside on order to even begin this task, hence the need for salvation through Acts 2:38—we HAVE to start with repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus and being filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost. As we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, we begin to understand why the Word warns us about the “accumulations”of the heart.

So, your mind and heart are linked together. The ancient Greeks believed that the heart, the most noticeable internal organ, was the seat of intelligence and memory, as well as emotion. As we truly think about our anchor Scripture, let the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart be acceptable  in thy sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14), looking at the latter part of the verse, what idea are you mediating or thinking on? What’s occupying your seat of intelligence and memory? What do you dwell on day and night? Whatever that is comes out of your mouth and that can get defile you as Jesus mentioned in Matthew. Did anyone’s meditations cause trouble? Yes indeed!

One HUGE example is in Genesis 6:5 where God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. God destroyed EVERYONE except for EIGHT people: Noah, Mrs. Noah, their three sons Shem, Ham & Japheth and their wives. That’s serious business, Family–let us not have this testimony names among us!

In another example, in Esther 3, Haman got this BIG promotion—in fact all the king’s servants at the gate bowed and reverenced Haman at the king’s command, all the servants, except Mordecai, older cousin of Queen Esther. Notice in verses 3 & 4, the servants on a daily basis kept asking Haman why he didn’t bow. The Word did not mention that Haman even noticed Mordecai not bowing– until the servants brought it to Haman’s attention.

First off, this tells you where the thoughts/hearts of the servants were. “If we bow, why doesn’t he bow?” “If I listen to the music and it doesn’t bother me, why can’t you listen to it?” Someone bugged me at work years ago—and told me I could wear pants, like I was 19 and it was my first job ever. I know what I CAN do, I had no intention on doing it (that’s MY personal conviction). The person even got other people to notice and mention it to me in passing. “Do you know Blenda never wears pants?” “Why don’t you dress up for Halloween (as if) in pants and shock everybody?” What did my attire really have to do with anything? Would slacks help me answer the phones better? Why try and “slack-shame” me?  The fact was, with God’s grace, I wasn’t bowing to that pressure to be like the crowd and they didn’t like it. On the same wise, Mordecai did NOT give into the pressure—he KNEW who his God was and he was not about to bow to a mere mortal.

Next, the busybodies went to TATTLE on Mordecai to see if this behavior would stand, AND they got to telling about him being a Jew.  If we go the the 5th verse, Haman payed attention this time,  now noticing that Mordecai was not bowing or reverencing Him and the Word says Haman was FULL of wrath.

See how the thought was planted in the mind? Haman could have rejected the thought, but he entertained or mediated on it until he was FULL of wrath. The mediation of his heart continues because in verse 6, it says “and he THOUGHT scorn to just lay hands on Mordecai—no…that wasn’t good enough—since busybodies had told about his nationality,  and they likely would behave in the same manner (meaning dedicated to God) and not bowing, now Haman sought to destroy ALL the Jews.

Verse 7 says Haman even went so far as to  cast Pur or “cast lots”to carry out his plot…daily and monthly from month one to month 12—just to find a good day to carry out his plot.  Let’s stop here. Historically, in all likelihood, lots or goral originally referred to a bunch of small pebbles or similar objects used to make decisions by chance: they would be cast down on the ground or put in a vessel of some sort, from which one would be drawn at random. The casting of lots expresses the idea that one has passed beyond the realm of motive and reason–whatever matter must be surrendered to forces that are beyond one’s control and comprehension. Mediations of the heart.

Haman’s mediations went into a ESCALATION mode when went on to involve and DECEIVE king Ahasuerus (Aa-soo-Rare-Us) by telling him about ALL these people whose laws were different, they did not keep the king’s laws and they did not profit the king, they needed to be destroyed Haman would pay to get it done. Next thing you know, the king agrees (without asking for the whole story, he likely trusted Haman), letters are sent, for the day to be set for these people to be destroyed. All because of two busybodies planted a seed of contention planted in a heart with pride for soil, (Haman thought off himself more highly than he ought to have thought (Romans 12:3), and sprung up deceit and murder. Meditation of the heart. We’ll stop here for now.

This week check out Esther and pay close attention to Haman, his actions and his end! Also, let’s start to think about how Psalm 19:14 applies in our general lives, and ask God to help you clean out the things in your heart. Next time we’re together, we’ll plan to keep the #SpeechTherapy conversation going in the next post/podcast.

Thank you SO much tuning in, may God bless you and until the next time we’re together, #StayOnTheWall.

Love,

BCU