Monday, February 1, 2010

Success or Failure? Watch Your Speech!

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world. Philippians 2:14-15 NAS

I am facilitating James MacDonald’s study Lord, Change My Attitude. It is excellent. Our memory verse for this week is the above Scripture from Philippians. It gives us no wiggle room at all as Paul emphatically states, “do all things without grumbling or disputing.” We have been asked in the study to listen and make note of our internal and external dialogue to determine if we are a complainer. I know that God has done a real work in my life concerning my attitudes and my tongue. Still I have become keenly aware even as Isaiah that, "
Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips?" Isaiah 6:5

I’m not sure if I can adequately express the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit to do His refining work with our attitudes and speech. I have had the opportunity to work with several ministries and observe the way the leadership functions and speaks. One had tremendous potential to impact many lives and the resources to carry it out. However, I found that those in leadership were quick to place blame and felt free to openly criticize other ministries or people who did not live up to their expectations. I knew that the Lord wasn’t going to bless their endeavors. He did not, and after a relatively short time it folded. On the other had I have been volunteering with another organization that is the polar opposite. There is a graciousness of speech, no gossip or critical attitudes ever on display. You can sense the Lord’s blessing and provision as the ministry moves forward to accomplish His purposes.

Whatever the scope and realm of your influence may be remember that you are setting an example. You may think, "Well, I'm just a stay at home mom." What an avenue of influence you could have over your children. You have an opportunity to edify and impart grace to those around you. More importantly you don’t want to grieve the Holy Spirit of God. If you want to prosper guard your attitude and your speech. You will appear as a light in this dark world.

MY PRAYER: Lord, I want to speak those things that are good and edifying. Let me put anything that is contrary far away from me. I can never build myself up by putting others down. Help me to shine in this world and bring pleasure to You.

MY CONFESSION: I will impart grace and edification to those who hear me. I will put away all evil speaking. I will be kind and tenderhearted. I stand on Your Word! Ephesians 4:29-32

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