Monday, March 16, 2009

M is for M O U T H

You can bet your bottom dollar that long before I put ink (or keys) to this blog page, I have been living and learning (sometimes wrestling) this topic out with the Lord. So, on this particular blog, I'm going to toss out a disclaimer and say that if you never struggle with the part of your body that sits on the lower part of your face, then by all means, click the red box in the top right corner.

However; if you're still reading, my guess is that you've found yourself in some hard places due to your mouth. Not just what you put in it, but what you allow to come out of it.

I think if we are to ever get a grip on our mouths, we're going to have to go a bit deeper ... down into the heart. "For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34b)
So, just how rotten is my heart ... is your heart? "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" (Jeremiah 17:9, NLT)

If you've ever been on the receiving end of someone else's "run of the mouth" then you know how bad it is. If you've been the one where the mouth is open and "junk" flows out ... trust me, you know. The past few months have been a season where the Lord is continually chiseling away ... you guessed it, on my mouth. And much deeper and bigger than my mouth ... it's my heart.
Listen to these incredible challenges that focus on this very thing:

"Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing, I have resolved that my mouth will not sin." (Psalm 17:3)

"These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." (Isaiah 29:13)

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

The hard core stuff comes from the book of James. If you're still with me, get a load of this:

"If anyone thinks he is religious, without controlling his tongue but deceiving his heart, his religion is useless." (James 1:26, HCSB)

"With our tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brother, this should not be." (James 3:9-10)

Last week God showed me something pretty profound. He said, "Rhonda, part of the reason that you can't get control over what you are putting in your mouth is the fact that you aren't controlling what comes out of it." One word: Ouch.

Within 48 hours of this "ah ha moment" I had not only poked fun at a loved one and hurt their feelings ... but I snapped at a dear friend. I broke my number #1 rule ... and voiced my opinion where I hadn't been asked. I called someone "jerk" in traffic. I uttered some "not so kind" things about someone who was driving me nuts. I even voiced some negative frustrations to someone. All the while, the Lord kept whispering to me, "Please be quiet. Please don't. Please close your mouth." You could call me butter, cause I was on some kind of a roll!

And most recently, it was another spoonful of a bitter lesson learned as the toxic poison of man's heart oozed it's way out. In listening, God said, "Now you know what it sounds like. Now you hear how bad it hurts. Maybe, just maybe ... you will think before you speak."

The tongue has the power of life and death ... (Proverbs 18:21)

I've got a long way to go, friends. I peck on these keys as a very humble woman who wants her mouth to line up with the faith she professes. I want my words to point others to Christ ... not away from Him. I want what pours off my lips to reflect a heart that has truly been changed by the power of Christ.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. " (Psalm 19:14, NLT)

1 comment:

  1. Wow - This really spoke to me. God has been pressing me about this same issue recently. The last thing in the world I want people to think of me as is negative, whiny, and judgmental. But sometimes I am - and I let it out. And sometimes I know I shouldn't say what I am about to say - and I do anyway. I know God is so disappointed in those moments. Thanks for the reminder, and for the consolation that I'm not the only struggling "Big Mouth!"