Focus: What you say
James 3:10 (NKJV) Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
If you had to define yourself in 200 words, what terms would you use? Would some of your words be: vibrant, funny, creative, spontaneous, motivated, focused, generous, trustworthy, confidential, congenial, healthy, generous, positive, caring, spiritual, peaceful, confident, secure, industrious, musical, nurturing . . . or, would your words be the opposite of those above?
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Think of a person you admire—whom you also know. What words would you use to describe them? What is it that attracts you to them? What traits characterize their personality and strengths? Do you know them well enough to be able to say 200 positive words about them?
Normally, the things that cause you to be drawn to a person are facts that have to do with how they make you feel about yourself. They may communicate how they feel about you in various ways—such as words, attitude, or a general feeling of approval—or sympathy. If this person you admire were to describe you in 200 words, what would they have to say? Would their description of you be positive—or negative? Not negative in a slanderous way, but negative in the sense that what you might be focused on are your problems and issues that are of a negative nature.
When negative subject matter is the major source of our conversation—other people come to see us in a negative light. One day, that person may be talking with another person you know. As these two people are passing the time of day, your name comes up. One person asks the other how you are doing. The two friends aren’t gossiping—they are both genuinely interested in your welfare. As the conversation goes, the negative things you have said and done are spoken about, and the talk ends in—“Boy, she sure has a lot of problems.” Everything they have said is true. You do have a lot of problems. Both of them care about you and are sincerely concerned for your welfare. But, it’s clear that what you have communicated about your problems has been further agreed on between friends. What has really happened? You innocently shared your problems with a friend. No harm there. But, that friend shared your problems with another friend and they both agreed that you have a lot of problems. Verbalizing and agreeing on negative information about someone is like making a curse. You might differ with that, but what is a curse, really?
Thanks to Hollywood—you might think curses are only performed by witches or people who are associated with the occult. They would have to be dressed in black and wear a pointy black hat and have a few warts on their face…with at least one on their nose. They would have a big black iron pot with steam rising off it and be stirring who knows what, as they spoke incantations over the stew. Evil reflections would be appearing in the surface of the pot and soon, something awful would happen to the person who was ‘cursed’. Well, that kind of thing might happen, but in our day-to-day life—we perform a lot of curses without any of the gobbledygook.
The scripture above makes it clear that it’s possible to speak blessings and curses in ordinary, everyday conversation. When we say negative things about our self—we are speaking a curse. You may say, “Nuh uh”, but the negative stuff you say isn’t a blessing, right? So, it’s a curse. If you don’t see it that way, it’s your business…but the Bible has a lot to say about the power of the tongue. We definitely don’t take ‘what we say’ as seriously as we should.
Think again about how you or a friend of yours would define ‘you’ in 200 words. If the words to describe you are along the lines of boring, serious, fearful, lazy, scatterbrained, stingy, promiscuous, bitter, unfriendly, sickly, stingy, negative, insensitive, cynical, anxious, angry, insecure, greedy, selfish, and so on—what have you done or how have you behaved to make that negative description of you factual? Would you say your negative behavior has contributed to an attitude about you that resulted in words—that might have become a ‘curse’ of sorts?
Sometimes we feel trapped in the bondage of depression. It has become our ‘way of life’. We have been depressed so long, we’ve stopped thinking there is any other way to live. We have become so accustomed to believing and saying negative things about ourselves and others—we’ve stopped considering what it is we are really doing. Maybe you have never thought of the things you say as carrying all that much power. Maybe you grew up hearing a pattern of negative and depressing conversation. You may have learned your behavior. If you’ve had the same problems with depression that your ancestors had—it may not have as much to do with chemistry as it has to do with the power of the tongue. If you want things to change for the better—you have to stop doing what you’ve have always done.
Declaration: I will find new strength by breaking every curse against me in the Name of Jesus Christ. I will purposely look for good things to speak. I will begin a new way of life by choosing to speak positively about myself and others.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.