If you are an American, then you know you have the right to free speech. To say what you want. To be offensive and get on other people's nerves just because you want to. You have the right to disagree, the right to your own opinion, and even the right to be flagrantly wrong.
Who ever said that the American way was God's way?
Oh, I'm very thankful for my right to free speech, for sure! Because, included in that right is my freedom to worship God, to speak about Him, and to proclaim His truths from His Word without fear of imprisonment or punishment or death.
But I think we must constantly evaluate the "rights" of our citizenship in our natural country by the light of our citizenship of the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom is our true home. His reality is the REAL reality. And in His Kingdom, words mean something.
Growing up, when I heard about "the Kingdom of God", I assumed people were talking about heaven. I thought that one day, a long time from then, I would finally be old enough to die and go to heaven to see the Kingdom of God. I wasn't super excited about that because it meant I was going to die... But, since I have grown up and had a little more revelation of God and His ways, I understand that God's Kingdom is NOW. It is eternal. It is not contained in the place called heaven - it is being built and expanded by every person who houses the Holy Spirit in their hearts. As a believer in Jesus, I can actively expand the occupation of God's Kingdom here on earth. In fact, I can do it with every footstep I take when I am walking in the Spirit! That's a lot to think about.
But, back to WORDS.
In God's Kingdom, words carry weight. When God speaks, things happen. Things like planets and stars and oceans. Things like light and life and beauty. And because He created us in His image, we have characteristics like Him. Our words carry weight, too. Our words mean something.
Have you noticed that when you let a lot of negative junk come out of your mouth that it doesn't make you feel better? It only makes the toilet-flush of your day spiral a little lower. Have you noticed that when you gripe and complain to your husband (or boss, or friend, for that matter) that he doesn't respond to you with flowers and hugs and warm fuzzies? He's trying to figure out a way to get out of the house and escape! Negative, harsh words make things die.
The good news? Loving, faith-filled words make things LIVE. Don't believe me? Try it. If you're in a hard spot in your marriage, make a decision to only speak positive things to your husband for a few days and watch what happens. Keep the ugly thoughts to yourself, and discuss those only with God. Train your mouth to say good things. Compliment your husband and praise him for the things he's good at. Make a big deal when he does something well or something that means a lot to you. If he's not doing ANYTHING you like and has ZERO praiseworthy character qualities, then you may have to try a little harder....like, "Honey, I am so glad you come home to us!" or, "Babe, you have the best manly walk I have ever seen!" Get creative. Your words have creative power, actually. When you don't see the things you're aching for in your husband, you can prophetically call those things out of him. Speak to him in the way you would if he were already walking in those things. "Honey, I'm so proud of you for your integrity. You make good decisions and stand up for what is right." "Babe, I love how you take care of us. Thank you for working so hard for our family."
The same works for friendships! If you are having a rough time with a friend, speak life into the relationship! And a little "tact" goes a long way. Tact is just shaping your words so that they don't impale those close to you. Instead of a backhanded compliment of "your hair looks so much better since you got it cut!", try actually saying it in a positive way: "I love your new hair cut! You look so good!" Instead of being sarcastic and cutting, try being encouraging and soothing.
Sometimes you do have to have difficult conversations and say potentially hurtful things. Confrontation and conflict are so hard. Most of us try to avoid it at all costs because it IS so hard. But, you can actually experience conflict in a relationship and use words to heal the rift. I could write a whole book on this subject, but I'll spare you for the sake of this post...
I guess I am just feeling the need to call us to a higher understanding of the power in our words. It is the power of life or the power of death - no in-between option for careless words. Either you're creating life and causing it to flourish, or you're killing things. Let's go up a little higher with the Spirit on this. Let's humble ourselves and be teachable...and let God change us in this area. What would happen if we, as wives and moms and women of influence, would really take responsibility for our words? I'm dying to know.