Ps 17:3 I have determined that my mouth will not sin.
Out of the abundance of the heart is what the mouth will speak. That is why it is so important that we take every thought captive, and compare it to Christ, what He has said and what He has done.
Thinking before we speak is a simple concept but not so easy to implement. But we do have the ability to stop, close our mouths, and think about what we are about to say before we actually say it. This gives us time to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, to see if He is telling us to be quiet or to proceed.
We must make a conscious decision to determine that we will not sin with our mouths, we will not express a lack of faith in God, we will not express a lack of love to others or ourselves. This is particularly hard when others have spoken harshly to us. We have a tendency to repeat the hurtful things that others have said to us. But we can be free of it as we are healed of these hurtful things.
I challenge you to put a guard over your mouth and not speak anything that does not encourage and edifying others and especially yourself today. You need to build yourself up in the most holy faith, and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Speak life and faith to yourself today, not negativity. Speak the truth of the situation but counter it with God’s eternal truth.
QUESTION FOR THE DAY:
1) What does determining that your mouth will not sin mean to you and how can you practically accomplish that?
I’m watching the aftermath of our 8″ snowfall here in Atlanta. For 24 hours, it looked like I lived in a snow globe, because you couldn’t see the sky, day or night, only the grayish white of low hanging snow clouds. But once the clouds parted just to expose a small porthole of sunlight, our world changed.
With the first crack of sunlight, the piles of snow that had been perched upon tree limbs immediately started falling off. With the addition of some unexpected gusts of wind, if a person didn’t know any better, you would have thought a fresh snow storm had started. Snow was blowing everywhere, but it wasn’t coming from the sky. It was fallout from the snow on the tree branches.
I had just finished listening to yet another woman’s story about her broken relationships and how they made her feel so worthless. God said, “I want to show you something. Do you see the snow falling off of the branches giving the effect of an active snowfall? That is what is happening in these ladies’ lives.”
“Throughout their lives, they have accumulated layers and layers of belief that they are unlovable and unacceptable. They have read past situations as proof of their lack of worth to others. These experiences and the meaning they assign to them pile up in their life. For a while, the piles can remain precariously balanced on thin branches. While there is no wind and no light to disturb them, they remain unnoticed.”
“But then something happens. A wind blows, the sky opens up, and the environment changes. Suddenly and without warning, the piles are dislodged and create a pseudo snow storm. There is a haze of snow that makes things hard to see. Heavy clumps come crashing down, and some of the branches break. At this moment, they are not just experiencing the pain of their current situation, but an avalanche of hurtful past emotions that were dislodged by it.”
What makes each painful situation in your life unbearable is not necessarily what is happening at that moment. It is often the additional release of past fears and feelings that are triggered by the current issue. If you want to be able to handle what is going on now, you need to deal with what has happened in the past.
Most women only come to see me when their lives have completely unraveled. Even then, they only see me long enough to relieve their current overwhelming pain, not taking time to shake off all of the piles of their past hurts so they don’t come crashing down at unexpected times in crippling ways. They are so afraid of reliving painful memories, they avoid them at any cost and only deal with them during crises.
However, if you want to be able to deal with life’s unknowns, the twists and turns, the disappointments and frustrations, in a healthy way, you must dislodge the piles of past emotions tottering on the branches of your life. You can do this in a more controlled way than during an existing crisis, where the blizzard of falling snow hinders you from seeing things clearly, even things right in front of you.
Don’t wait for a crisis to start dealing with your past. Start reviewing your personal history during quiet moments and systematically go through the issues you know exist. Let the Holy Spirit guide you, and feel free to use my free Introduction To Life Patterns class as a guideline. Heal each unresolved situation from your past so you are free to problem solve each situation in your present. Don’t wait for an avalanche to bring you to your knees.
I’ve been sick. That always makes everything else more of a burden. Smaller things will shake me and make me despair more easily. The temptation is to say, “Just let the bills sit there and work go on without me. I just want to wrap myself in a blanket with the cat in my lap and watch Netflix.”
I know I’m not the only one. My daughter called me feeling sick, wishing she could temporarily not be in charge of 1 baby and 1 toddler so she could just sleep and have her mommy come take care of her. But life doesn’t allow us to set it aside and take a break from it. Life and responsibilities keep coming at us, sick or not.
But I realized that my physical feelings from fighting off this virus and trying to fend off an infection of whatever was settling in my chest were affecting how I saw everything else. My daughter mentioned how she was struggling with her emotions more while she was sick, and I realized that I was as well. My words to her were words meant for myself as well – we have to remember that this too shall pass, and that we cannot take these emotions seriously. We MUST keep perspective.
I think the one thing that over 6 years of Recovery ministry has done for me (combined with simply getting older and trying to learn life lessons) is give me perspective. When I was younger and something happened to me for the first time, it felt like life was going to end right then and there. When it happened another time, I would forget my lessons learned from the first time and needlessly go through it as if it was something new. But at some point, after it happened enough times, I could prepare myself for it and realize that it would pass soon enough – we just have to hold on until then. (That time of the month is a good example of this – you knew it was coming, and had to plan around it. Also, repetitive fights between family members would fall into this category – we respond automatically, without thinking, as if it was the first time we’d had this argument.)
My point is that most of us have been around for a while. We have felt good and we have felt bad, and many of us have survived some very painful things in life. We are still here, some thriving and some just surviving. But we are still here, and we still have a chance to start over right here, right now. In order to NOT go around that same mountain one more time, we have to learn our life lessons AND apply them to the next thing that happens.
For me, I’ve been sick dozens of times before. I know this sickness is not unto death, and it will pass eventually, and I’ll physically and mentally feel better. I’ve done our business and personal taxes for decades, but if I’m not careful and keep perspective, I will dread it and ruin all of the months leading up to their due dates. Perspective tells me that these things are just a part of living, and I need to steel myself to get through them and then move on.
So if you are struggling with anything – sickness, finances, relationships, etc. – you can look back over your life and encourage yourself by seeing how you came through those things and survived. However, to be victorious, you need to look back over those episodes and decide what you learned from those events. See what made your life more miserable and avoid those things this time, and what made your life more enjoyable and focus on doing those things again.
Don’t treat whatever you are going through as if it is the first time it has happened. It most likely isn’t, so apply your historical life lessons to this episode and make your life better by it. By doing this, you will relieve yourself of much of the unnecessary emotional baggage you tend to pick up when things do not go as you had planned or hoped. You will also be fashioned more into the image of Christ as you practice patient endurance with whatever life throws at you.
1. What are you dealing with right this moment? When have you faced this or something similar in the past?
2. What lesson did you (or you can now) learn from that? How could you have handled it better? What made the situation worse?
3. What can you do to practically make this situation better today?