As you might already know, my birthday is this month (1 week from today!) and to celebrate I want to do something special each week via TPA. I'd love for us to gather together and share gratitude for the ways God has been so good to us throughout 2014 so far.
Last week, we celebrated friendships, and I'm sending out a little treat to a friend of a friend! This week, I'd love to celebrate... our words.
Words are incredibly powerful. They can build us up and tear us down. There are the words we speak, the words we hear from others, and the words we hear in our own thoughts and all three carry great weight. A word spoken out of jealousy can cause us to see ourselves in two ways – either above those around us or far beneath them. A word of encouragement can be all we need to open the doors to a new life, and could easily snowball into further encouragement. There's a reason that over and over again, the Bible reminds us to tame our tongues (and, not surprisingly, these verses are usually speaking to us ladies). Our words are so powerful. And, when used by God, they can do immeasurable good.
This topic is so near and dear to my heart for several reasons... I've seen God use words to encourage, challenge, and create healing through this blog. I've seen God breathe life into friendships through guiding my words as I interact with those around me. I've felt God show me, through His Word in the Bible, how much He loves us, how He designed us, and what His desires are for us, and that is a thing of true beauty.
So, to celebrate the power of our words, I'd love to encourage each of you to turn the words of your mouth into the aroma of Christ... let's change our complaints into encouragement. I'm going to be working towards this all week and I'd love for you to join me. But thankfully, this "challenge" isn't cut-and-dry – it's very flexible! Maybe you'll just try today. Maybe you'll try tomorrow. Maybe you'll try for an hour or two when you go meet up with your friends tonight. Any effort put forth is 100% worth it. If you choose to try this for any amount of time, you'll quickly see how often we find ourselves complaining... and how little it helps. You'll also get to see how God desires us to shift our focus off of ourselves and onto the hearts of others – serving others with your words is a powerful way to press in and get to know Him more. It creates healing like you can't imagine.
You can also use this "challenge" to initiate talking with God more often. Maybe you won't really see anyone today (holed up in your home office?) – each moment you find yourself mentally complaining, turn that into a time to praise God for all of the good He's done. That changes your mood real quick!
"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is
God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
– 1 Thessalonians 5:18 –
I'm personally finding myself in a bit of an overwhelming season, and I know the past two days have contained a lot of unnecessary complaining! I so wish I could go back and turn each of those moments into a rose of a compliment (typically towards Chris for putting up with my little messy self)... or into a moment when I turned to the Lord and was openly grateful for what He's done for me.
So, let God guide your words. Share gratitude. Share joy.