Speak the truth

With heart racing there are words on the tip of your tongue, they must be spoken.
Like a meteor shower "what if's" begin to light up in your mind leaving you a bit lightheaded:
"they will think i am crazy"   "my motives will be judged"   "it is truth, but what if it is not received well"   "will they be angry?"   "but it is truth"     "it goes against the status quo"    "it's the right thing to do"     "this is like swimming upstream"

With a quiver the words come, spoken in love, but mighty in truth. The time is now, 
"speak the truth, even if your voice shakes."

Speak the truth...in your home, in the classroom, in the conference room, in the courtroom, on the field, on the court...
Speak the truth...to your family, with your friends, to your professor, with your boss, to your enemy... 
"speak the truth, even if your voice shakes."

"You shall speak all that I command you" Exodus 7:2
"My words declare the uprightness of my heart, and what my lips know they speak sincerely." Job 33:3
"He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend." Psalm 15:1-3
"My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding." 
Psalm 49:3
"I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame." 
Psalm 119:46
"My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever." Psalm 145:21
"Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit." Proverbs 12:17
"And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' whether they hear or refuse to hear." Ezekiel 3:11
When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:19&20

Sticks and stones may break my bones,

but your words have the power to choke the life out of me.

Preparing to share with a group of women who are in need of guidance and encouragement to be better moms because they didn't grow up in an environment that fostered the love of Jesus. They live in difficult circumstances, not having life's advantages that so many of us take for granted...then God speaks to my heart. 
It isn't just His word for the women that I will be sharing with, it is His words to me.
Listening attentively to the sermon being taught on James 3 with my children on either side of me, the pastor asked "Parents, how are you doing? Do your words encourage your children?" Then the pain...literally. I get little elbows from both sides into my ribs, I turn to see little accusing eyebrows raised. 
WHAT? My children think that my words are harsh and I don't encourage them?! 
Later, finagling my way, I explain to my children that correction is not the same as being hurtful with words. However, as the day goes on His spirit within me raised little red flags each time I spoke harshly, my words were accusing, my tone unkind. One red flag should have been enough, but there were several. Then came the defeated voice of my child,
“Can I not do anything right today?”
Ouch. Sticks and stones may break my bones but your words make me feel like a failure.

I realized that all day I had noticed those little things that irritated me (and said so). I saw what was undone or not done correctly (and was sure to point it out). I missed the mark – big time. I failed to say out loud all of the good stuff, to point out what was pleasing and right, missed getting to laugh off a mistake and say the words “you’ll get it, just keep trying.” I hadn’t stopped to say, “I love you” out of the blue for no reason at all, except that we all need to hear it.
Research on the power of words tells us that for every one negative word spoken, there needs to be two – five positive words to negate the one negative. Our brains remember the negative, and dare I say our hearts begin to believe it.

That’s why God’s Word has so much to say about the tongue. Here are just a few verses…
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”Proverbs 18:21

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is of little worth. The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.”
Proverbs 10:19-21(ESV)

James 3, read the whole chapter!

Yep, God is using much in the ways of my mess ups to teach me about His great love for me and to change my heart to be more like Him each day.

My prayer today: Help me, Father, to speak with gracious words, those like honeycomb that are sweetness to the soul and health to the body. If at any point Lord, my words are not, PLEASE put your hand over my mouth (and of course keep changing my heart)! Amen.

Now, because I am reminded that I don’t have it all together, I am ready to share with these moms and encourage them to measure their words by God’s Word too.

Sweet Lydia

Lydia Paul
September 12,1975 - September 29, 2011

My heart is sad that time on this earth will be no more with my sweet sister in Christ, Lydia. Peace fills my heart knowing that we will have eternity with our Savior.
Pouring over pictures of my visits to El Shadai, remembering tender moments of tears shared, smiling at the memories of the times we laughed like school girls have been a balm to my heart. May these glimpses provide smiles for you too!

Join me in praying for those who are daily left with a "huge gap" - her husband, Joseph, her daughter, Becky and 63 children who call her mom at El Shadai. Her tasks were many, her presence loving and reassuring, and therefore each are feeling the great loss of someone so dear.

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, 
your labor prompted by love, 
and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 
I Thessalonians 1:3

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