Sunday, September 21, 2008

Conversation "In The Raw"

At the Well today, we're doin' lots of talkin about talking. I think this is one of my most favorite topics ever at the well, probably because I'm a big ole blabber mouth. I'm so anxious to learn from the other women on the subject. Laurie Ann at Magnolia Heartbeats is the hostess today. Thank you so much for this incredible topic, Laurie Ann.

It seems to me that words are pretty important to God. When He created the world, He spoke it into being. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, the importance of God's words shone through again: Matthew 4:4, "Jesus answered, 'It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' " Also, John 1 makes it clear that the Word came first and that the Word was God. Tremendous significance.

As it applies to me today, I know that "out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks," and that I am to "let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly as I teach and admonish others with all wisdom." I am convicted by the fact that I am told that when or IF I speak, I should do it as one "speaking the very words of God." A tall order from a tall God.

For me personally, the struggle comes with the words I speak "in the moment." When I think and pray and am slow to speak, all is pretty well, but the spontaneous moments, the "conversation in the raw," yikes...that is where I need the help.

It's when my daughter loses her temper.
It's when my son is a know-it-all.
It's when my husband points out fault in me.
It's when I'm drowning in self-importance, and I think my opinion will make a difference.
It's when I read something that offends me, and I hit "reply" a moment too soon. (yes, the cyber-words we speak count too)
It's when...I could go on and on...it's when I don't think before I speak.

As much as that works in the seemingly negative way, the opposite can apply as well.

Sometimes I show no restraint in my tongue with the complimentary words. I become a flatterer, or someone who speaks words in order to get a response. I give false praise and empty encouragement. Yuck, that is just as despicable. Really, it is.

Then there's the gray line: the words we speak that have potential toward value or not. Small talk. Sometimes these words are useful for making a deeper relationship, sometimes they're spoken to get us through moments that I'd rather not share at all, and sometimes they are just a waste of time, a substitute for something more important I should be doing. I've asked the Lord countless times to make me a good steward of my words, because I believe they are to be used wisely and sparingly.
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17

This is such a deep subject at the well, that I'll betcha we're here for hours discussing. My bottom lines are the following:
1. I want to be self-controlled in my speech, thinking before I speak.
2. I want my words to matter, to have Christ's power and effectiveness behind them.
3. I want my words to be genuine and sincere, not empty praise or flattery--true encouragement from Christ.
4. I want to use less words, being a good steward of them. They don't have to be all serious and somber, just useful.

One of my favorite quotes as a writer is "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen." (Martin Luther) Why? Because words are that powerful. I consider the words I type on a comment page or in a chat room or on Facebook or even the ones sent to my devotional list or the teacher about homework as conversation. So I must be as careful and apply the same way of thinking to my typed and written words as well.

Thanks, Chelsey, for the opportunity to meet, and for you, Laurie Ann to introduce such a great topic.

In the Key of HE,

12 friends shared a comment:

LAURIE said...

What a great post today AT THE WELL. I am right there with you on your list of "its when...." When I have not spent time in Gods Word or in His presence is when I find my "its when..." list become longer!

Thanks for your very very kind words on my post. What an encouragement you are to all of us here AT THE WELL. -Blessings, Laurie

Joyfull said...

Thank you for sharing At the Well today. I am also enjoying this topic very much Thank you for sharing so openly on those situations we all face when things can just spill out! I think that through today's At the Well, we will all be encouraged in our speech and that is something I'm excited about!

Laurie Ann said...

Awesome post, LauraLee. I love your bottom lines! And I also love how you brought up that the creation began by God using Words. I knew that but I hadn't thought of it that way. I'm sure He used His words carefully! May I do so, too, in the small things I "create". Thanks for being At the Well this morning. You offer so much wisdom and insight. I truly enjoyed your post.

JesusRulzMe said...

Laura Lee,

You said:

"1. I want to be self-controlled in my speech, thinking before I speak.
2. I want my words to matter, to have Christ's power and effectiveness behind them.
3. I want my words to be genuine and sincere, not empty praise or flattery--true encouragement from Christ.
4. I want to use less words, being a good steward of them. They don't have to be all serious and somber, just useful."


If ya don't mind sister, I'd love to join you in all four of these!

Wise words sister, full of the heart of Christ!

Bless you today!
Sunny

Debra said...

Laura Lee,

I started to join At the Well today but was sitting before the Lord with all of my words and felt Him speaking to me from the 10th Proverb "In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking". That was my cue. Stop.

This was a beautiful post and beautifully written. First and foremost I took away from it how powerful the Word is and I'm so glad I listened to the Lord stopping me. My heart wasn't right. I was would have been speaking from wounds and out of hurt instead of Christ-like love.

Blessings to you today. And I'm in complete agreement with Sunny!

Kat said...

"When I think and pray and am slow to speak, all is pretty well, but the spontaneous moments, the "conversation in the raw," yikes...that is where I need the help."

That's true for me too! I can really relate, that is a big area where I will be praying for God to work in my heart.

Patty Wysong said...

Are you sure cyber words count? I mean, they're just cyber aren't they?

okay, really, I was kidding because cyber words count majorly--yup, I know that from experience...sadly.

'Guard your heart for from it flow the springs of life.' One of my favorite Proverbs (cuz it steps on my toes so often!) Great post, sweetie!

lori said...

Girl...speaking "in the moment" gets me in a tangled mess too:)

Being one of those who came out of the womb with a love for WORDS...I have learned to understand the power of those words...and you are so right, when I don't spend time in THE WORD...my words are not what they should be...

wonderful as always...
loved it!
peace,
lori

Blessed One said...

What a powerful post. It goes well with my next "Choose Life" installment which will be about the words we speak. Such great wisdom here. I especially thought the part about flattery and empty encouragement was significant - no one talks about that. Great job!

Joanne Sher said...

Just excellent, and convicting, my dear Laura. Words can be so uplifting, and so downgrading. Exceptional.

Yvonne said...

"Let the words of my mouth (and pen) and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer."

I prefer writing things down. It's when I'm put on the spot to say something, that's when I choke up and don't say anything...or bumble so badly that it doesn't make sense.

Homesteader in Training said...

And that's why your my friend. You are so smart and gifted. Those were the perfect words! Straight from heaven to your fingers!
blessings my friend.
Kim