I can hear my mother now – “Deborah Jan, watch what you say; you don’t want me to wash your mouth out with soap!” No, ma’am, I sure didn’t (and don’t). I didn’t realize it at the time, but now decades later I’m learning more about the impact words you say can have on someone’s life.
Growing up I was taught to be polite and respectful to everyone I met. I still try to adhere to that rule. However, more and more curt remarks and sarcasm creeped into my everyday language. Maybe I wanted to be accepted, or thought I was being cute. Then I decided to look up the definition of sarcasm: “unpleasant remarks intended to hurt a person’s feelings; sneer; a scornful expression, words that express contempt.” In Latin, “sarcasmo” means “to tear off the flesh.” OUCH! When you think about it, that’s what happens on the receiving end of a hurtful, sarcastic remark.
Being analytical by nature, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I wanted to know why people say hurtful things. I was realizing that when you fill a pot (your mind and heart) with junk, what flows out (i.e., via the mouth) will be junk.
So, I went on a “fast” of sorts to stop watching and hearing negative shows. Then I started adding in more Bible scriptures. For instance:
Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, perfect will of God.
Ezekiel 36:26: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Psalm 51:10: God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Philippians 1:6: I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Scripture is right … and my Momma (even though she didn’t say it the same), too. You are what you think and what your mind and heart dwells on. So be careful what you … think, hold in your heart, and say out of your mouth.
Wonder if this is why there’s so much anger and depression in the world these days?? Hmmmm …
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