I haven't posted in a long time, but decided to this morning. I have been so busy trying to settle into a new job and a new year.
I was taking my fourteen year old son to school this morning and TobyMac's song "Speak Life" came on the radio. Listen here. I asked my son if he knew what T-Mac meant by speaking life. His response to me was "positive words." I told him yes, true, but it is even more than that. I told him we were going to look at the book of James tonight, but in the meantime to remember that the tongue cannot be tamed is full of deadly poison (James 3:8).
I told him to remember the Word also says to guard our hearts because out of it flow the issues of life (Proverb 4:23). Whatever we let into our hearts flows from our mouths (Luke 6:45). Meaning that if we are quick to anger, spew words of hate, degrade, insult, bully, belittle, abuse another person then we have allowed our hearts to become full of those nasty, dark, hurtful things. But if we uplift and encourage, if we compliment and share love, if we smile and offer help, if we take care of the helpless, if we are quick to offer kindness and goodness, then our hearts are full of love and it overflows from us to those around us.
Even what we consider 'backhanded' compliments are insults disguised as something good. We've all been the recipient of those at one time or another. Even an insult thrown at someone with a laugh and an "I'm just joking and teasing you." is not speaking life and it is not encouragement. We have to understand there is life and death in the power of the tongue and we must choose - make a deliberate decision - to speak life.
I love the mornings with my son on the way to school. Hopefully, he will carry all we discussed with him today and choose to speak life to those around him.