The Blessing And The Cursing Series
Setting A Watch Over Our Words
May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing… —Psalm 141:2,3,4a
On my first job, I learned a deep lesson that I never forgot. Just turned sixteen, I was excited to work on my first public job. My father had shown me some side streets to drive on, to get there. I didn’t have to go on any main streets, if I didn’t want to. Of course after getting to know a few of the ladies in the office, I overheard them talking about the great deals that they got downtown.
Well, to get access to those stores and those deals, I had to drive downtown. So, I took up my courage and drove there. One afternoon, I got back from lunch, deals in hand, the office was in an uproar. One of the older (to me) ladies in the office, Frankie, was crying inconsolably. According to her, just the day before she got in an altercation with one of the supervisors in the office. She stormed away and said, “I hope you drop dead!”
She found that he did, later that evening. He literally dropped dead. I know it’s an extreme example. But it brings the spotlight over to how much our words affect our lives and even our destiny. It brings me to a question, I have for you.
Why do so many of us remember—in detail—all the negative words our family said, from when we became aware at four or five until today? “You’re never going to amount to much.” “This room is always a mess.” “You’re the last person I listen to.” “That color will always look washed out on you.”
Why can’t a bike, a coveted Barbie doll or a ticket to your favorite concert make up for several things that hurt your feelings? Why do we remember criticism more than positive ones? You can blame it on the brain. It’s the way, our brains are wired.
Studies by Dr. John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago have shown what he calls “the negativity bias” of the brain. Our brains are naturally more sensitive and responsive to unpleasant news. That’s why personal insults or criticism hit us so hard and stay with us longer. It’s why negative ads, articles, reviews, TV shows grab out attention faster than positive ones—political or otherwise.
Dr. John Cacioppo’s studies show the ratio of positive comment to negative comment for family is five to one. It takes about five positive comments to offset one negative comment. Other studies show the ratio even higher. Some say the ratio is higher for strong energy words. These studies say the ratio is, it takes ten positive comments to offset one negative.
With all that said, do you truly want to walk in your destiny? Then watching your words and building a right image within yourself is a must.
First there’s the rooting out of the weeds, the evil words. What are evil words, you might ask? Evil words are any words contrary to the word of God for yourself and others. Most of us, already know how much our words affect others. Again, scientific research support that it takes ten positive comments to offset just one negative comment.
Years ago, a close friend of mine was acting the way she always acted. Everyone that knew her would say, you know her she always does that, talks that way and she always will. I must confess; I was agreeing with them. Yes, me with my long time campaign of getting my words in line. In my defense (smile), I thought it only applied to what I said about myself.
The Holy Spirit abruptly interrupted that train of thought. He explained, because of the light that I am, it also applies to what I say about other people. He impressed upon me the fact that I had to begin to agree with what God said about her. It went against the grain of what everyone had been saying and believed about her, including herself.
At that point, she probably didn’t believe, any differently, than what had always been.
I started agreeing with what God said about her. Even when others said what they had always said and she did what she always did. I stayed in agreement with God said. I saw no change at first. Then, I began to see change for the better in my friend.
She began to say, “I used to think I would never change but I’m changing. I used to never think this way but now I feel different. I feel like there’s hope, even for me.” Knowing what God had been talking to me about her, it was all I could do to keep my composure. For sure, my spirit man ran all around that room. I’m still agreeing with God about her; before we know it, she’ll be a new person…
Won’t you join me in faith and let’s set a watch over our mouth and our words to the glory of God. For some, it’s for the first time. For others, we have to re-set the watch. Is God calling you to watch your words? Is he calling you to agree with him about someone you know?
Let’s do it together. Let’s agree with what God says about us and the people around us. We acknowledge without God’s help; we can’t change or speak the way we should. We commit our conversation to you, Lord. Help us speak the right words, in Jesus name, we pray.
Watching my words,
Earma Brown, Author
WOW! Women of Destiny
James 1:26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
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