The entry for the day stated, “I hate you.”
Brian’s mother loved him, but like many mothers she also loved to snoop in his room. He was a teenager, and she could remember the things she experienced when she was one. Her motherly instinct told her he was keeping a journal, but she had no evidence. An expert at snooping, she soon discovered his treasure. It told of his teenage passions, plans, and daily affairs.
Then she discovered a single day’s only entry, “I hate you.” Only after Brian was an adult did his mother confess her snooping. But the words had burned in her chest for twenty years. Brian assured her he meant nothing by them. “Every teenager says that about their parents,” he said.
The psalmist’s desire was for his words—which proceeded from his mind and heart, to be acceptable to God.
Words reflect character. Character is who I am whether or not this is who I portray to others. Character is forged in the heart. Talk with me long enough and you will discover my true self, my priorities, and my dreams. When my character is built on a relationship with Christ, you will know.
Words can be pleasant or ugly. When mine are pleasant, you’ll enjoy being around me. When they’re ugly, you and others won’t. Ugly words destroy—reputations and character. My words can distribute compassion, kindness, and love or unconcern, neglect, and hate.
Words can encourage or discourage. I can build you up or tear you down by what I say. I’ve never received too much encouragement, and I doubt anyone else has either. The world is a discouraging place, but I can ensure my words circulate encouragement.
Words can’t be taken back. On the “Ellie for Council” episode of the Andy Griffith Show, Andy concluded Ellie’s decision to run for council—since she was a woman, was silly. Her reaction made him quickly take back his statement. “And it had a bad taste,” was his assessment of his words. Trouble was, he couldn’t actually take them back. Neither can I. Once spoken, words can be apologized for, but their memory can linger for years in a person’s mind.
Make sure the words you speak are pleasing in the Lord’s sight.
Prayer: Father, remind us our words mirror our hearts and minds. Make them pure in Your sight.
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