Words Of Accusation
What words do you use on a regular basis? I have to admit; sometimes mine are not as positive as they should be. When life becomes stressful and I feel as though I am out of control of a situation I am faced with, I tend to use words that criticize, assume, condemn, or judge. I yell at drivers who cut me off or drive as though life were not fragile. I mumble when my husband’s actions frustrate me. I grumble when I am forced to watch programming on TV that I might not be interested in viewing. And, yes, at times I mentally verbalize words of criticism and judgment of a total stranger just because they might have body jewelry or tattoos that I don’t care for. Lord forgive me!
How Do You Approach Jesus With Words?
I am in the middle of doing an independent Bible study entitled The Missing Pieces written by Jennifer Rothschild. In the first chapter, she points out the way we phrase a question to the Lord matters. Her reference is on the storm that the disciples endured while Jesus was sleeping in the boat. She writes: “His frightened followers did not ask, “Do You care?” Instead they asked, “Don’t You care?” To ask Jesus, “Do You care?” is to inquire. But, to ask, “Don’t You care?” is an accusation hidden in the form of a question. Hear the difference.” Jesus does care and when we approach His throne of grace, it needs to be with respect and a healthy fear of who He is. He is God’s Son, Savior of all mankind, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We should speak to Him with words of appreciation and ask with words that respect who He is to us. After all, He is sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for our sins.
Respecting God First and Then, Respecting Others
Respect begins with faith. When we humble ourselves before a living God who hears our every word and knows our every action, shouldn’t we do so with respect? His Word says: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 God does not expect us to be fearful with anxiety when we approach Him in prayer, but He does expect us to remember in whom we are speaking to and to act accordingly. And, I believe we should take this a step further. If He knows all of our thoughts before we think them, hears our every word when we speak them and He sees our every action as we do them, shouldn’t we learn to show others respect? Even when we disagree with someone or we don’t like the way another person dresses or how they behave, shouldn’t we hold our opinions within and ask the Lord to help us see them through His eyes?
Words Should Build Up, Not Tear Down
Living close to the lord changes my perspective. While I am human and I make mistakes, my main focus should be on letting Him reflect through me to others. My light cannot shine when I am screaming at a driver who only thinks of him/her self. My faith in God does not reflect in mumbled words of frustration or grumbles of TV viewing. My actions do not show the love of Jesus when I judge others by their appearance. Words of love, compassion, and faith cannot mix with words of judgment, criticism, or condemnation. In my imperfect human state, I often miss the mark as I strive to use words that build others up and emphasize the positive qualities that reflect the Holy Spirit’s presence within my heart. And, as I approach my God, I should use words that show respect as I seek His will for my life and I ask for His compassion in my circumstance or the circumstances of others.
The bottom line is…words matter! How are you letting your light shine through the use of words? Please share and encourage others today!