Have you ever been at a spillway after an incredible storm? The swell of the all the water moving over the spillway is mesmerizing. It can’t be held back. It will flow over the top of the spillway.

James says our tongue is similar. Our tongue is difficult to control which makes it important what we put in our heart. James, the brother of Jesus and early church leader knew how difficult it was to control what we say. He gives several visuals how powerful the tongue is in our relationships.

He likens our tongue to the bit in a horse’s mouth which is able to steer the large animal one way or another. He says it is similar to the rudder on a ship, able to guide it north or south. And he says it’s like a forest fire which is so difficult to control.

You know, we speak on average 16,000 words a day and have about 30 conversations a day. So, as followers of Jesus, we need to be careful and guard our words. How we speak has everything to do with what we put in our hearts. At least that’s what Jesus said. In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus says out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. So it calls us to take a discipleship-type inventory of what we put in.

The call today is to limit your social media intake as well as what we’re watching on TV, Netflix, and the movies. Give it a try. For the next 3 days, or 7 days, or 10 days, replace those things with reading a spiritual blog, reading the Bible in depth, increasing your prayer life and journaling. Rather than sitting on the couch vegging out, find a ministry to plug into and serve someone else rather than your own needs. There are lots of opportunities at any church or in your community.

Our faith should be worth enough to CHANGE the way you do life. Jesus’ words should prompt us to plant positive, healthy seeds in our heart. We want to be people who are affirming, positive, uplifting, encouraging, and healthy resource for others to be around. Give it a try! Don’t wait another moment to getting your heart in better shape to look more like Jesus. Blessings on your journey.

The Power of Words

Each of you has a story about someone who encouraged you, built you up, stuck with you, and empowered you. You remember them and are so grateful for their influence in your life. Equally, you remember someone who degraded you, ignored you, tore you down, and made you feel small. You wished those moments hadn’t happened.

Words have power. Words are important. How you use them is equally important. Take a look at the creation story in Genesis 1-2. God simply speaks things into existence. He says, “Let there be light. and there was light.” That’s how powerful words can be and the person using them.

Words can be a negative as well, even when they are not true. Like in Genesis 3 when Satan speak death into the life of Adam and Eve and all of creation. He questions God’s words and in so doing, the sinful, human condition comes into existence.

But then God sends “The Word” into the world in John 1. Jesus, the Word in the flesh, comes into the world. In Genesis, God speaks light into darkness. In John, God sends light into darkness. And Jesus’ words during his ministry on earth speak life and love and peace and joy and forgiveness to all his creation.

Now, we are made in the image of God which means we too can speak life and love to all those around us. Give is shot. Don’t say, “I’ve already tried it. It doesn’t work.” At least try for a month to live out the image of Jesus in your own life, building others up and not tearing down.

Start with the opening of your day. For 5 minutes each morning, speak the Word of God into your life. Write scripture on post it notes and put on your bathroom mirror to read each morning as you get ready. As you prepare for the day over that cup of coffee, open God’s Word and read the incredible things he’s said to you.

At the end of the day, take a word inventory. How did you speak to people today? If there was a negative, how could you have interacted differently? What attitudes did you experience today? Leaning into how God has called us to imitate his son can change your marriage, relationships with your kids, your work environment and yes, even your own spirit.

Words are powerful. Use them to bring life and love to those around you. Blessings on your journey.