Medical professionals scold us with the reminder that "you are what you eat."
The Word of God instructs us that we are what we speak. Our year ahead will be impacted by every word we utter.
For "He who would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit" (1 Peter 3:10).
One trip to the great tongue doctor, the Apostle James, will yield a powerful prescription:
"If anyone among you seems to be religious and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain" (James 1:26).
"Even so, the tongue is a little part of the body and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles" (James 3:5).
"The tongue is a fire, a world of evil. The tongue is among the parts of the body, defiling the whole body, and setting the course of nature on fire, and it is set on fire by hell" (James 3:6).
If we simply consider the three verses and bridle our collective tongue, we can expect a much healthier and prosperous year. And perhaps we will even sleep better.
I have been intentional every year to keep Ephesians 4:29 ever present in my mind:
"Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good for building up, that it may give grace to the listeners."
Yet, my tongue fails me often. Many is the time I have reached out with arms fully extended to grab my words prior to reaching someone's ear drum. That didn't work out too well for me, either.
Mothers have given great advice to children over the years, "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all."
For anyone who speaks all day, every day, it seems delusional to think that I can make it through 365 days and only speak good words. I never intend to speak harmful words but some days, I seem to have advanced skills in saying the wrong thing.
In prayer, I've asked for help from the Lord. "Jesus, I know I have to give an account for every word I speak, so please help me bridle my tongue today. I cannot do it without you."
The influence of a leader is fully dependent upon a mastery of language skills.
"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones" (Proverbs 16:24).
Platform Tip No. 135
Don't confuse content with your message. Content doesn't really help people. Your message is developed to help.
Content is stuff. A message matters.
Your message builds trust.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
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