Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Words From A Woman of Unclean Lips

                It’s my life. We have all heard this statement from someone. We have all said it at some point in our lives. One time, my daughter and I were having a disagreement about an area of her life that I was unpleased with. She yelled at me and said, “It’s my life!” I responded with, “No, it’s not. Everything you do and say affects everyone around you. Therefore, it is not your life.” Needless to say that didn’t go over to
well with a fifteen year old drama driven teenage girl. But, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It bounced off her and slapped me right in the face. Over the years, the Lord has done that to me. Given me some word of wisdom for my children, or fellow family member of God, and I end up being the one getting the most out of it.
                As I was praying this morning, the Lord brought those words back into my remembrance. He has been dealing with me in a specific area of my life that is unpleasing to Him. I have been doing some things that He is not really happy with and this morning He showed me the truth of those words spoken so long ago. As He worked in my heart and I prayed for His forgiveness, He also brought to my remembrance the words of Isaiah.
                “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Isaiah 6:5 (NKJV)
                As I read these words I realized that some of my words have not been very pleasant to His ears. I have spoken things that I cannot take back. Just as I told my daughter that it was not her life, He was showing me that it was not mine either. Everything we do has an effect. The words we speak, once spoken, can never be taken back. Even the words that I write can never be taken back. Once said, they are out there, and our words can hurt, tear down, cause pain and suffering as well as stumble our brothers and sisters, and cause them to turn away from Christ because of our lips. But, our words can also encourage, build up, edify and bring others to Christ. It all depends on us and what is in our hearts.
                When Isaiah cries out that he is a man of unclean lips, what he is saying is that his speech is not worthy of God. He sees his sinfulness not only as a man, but he also sees his sinfulness in what he speaks. Jesus tells us in Luke 6:45 that a “good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (NLT version) What comes out of my mouth speaks not only to who I am, but to where I am in Christ.
                Paul writes to the Colossians and encourages them to speak to one another in “psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs” (Colossians 3:16) He knew and understood the power in the words we speak. I saw today that not only do my actions affect others, but my words do as well. The Lord and I have been through this before. I have been around this mountain a few times. But each time, the truth and the knowledge that what I say is just as important as what I do hits me and I fall before Him as Isaiah did, and cry for I am undone, I am a woman of unclean lips.
                Solomon warns us as well in regards to our words. “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouths; do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” (Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 NIV) For me, letting my words be few is difficult to be sure. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a talker. But, this day has made me see that what I say can grieve God just as much as what I do.
              When we speak, we need to be speaking what God desires us to speak- not what we think. So many times I have spoken because I have an opinion, or I have some knowledge I want to share. But Solomon reminds us that it is better to listen than to let our mouths run away with themselves. I have been around people who speak for no reason except to hear their own selves talk. It is rather annoying. You can’t get a word in edgewise, and when you are speaking they are trying to interrupt you. And, I have been that person too. But, we must remember that what we say reflects who we are, and how we say it reflects the true motives of our hearts. And not only that, but our words also affect everyone around us. I need to heed Solomon’s advice and let my words be few!
                Isaiah saw the glory of God; he saw firsthand the awesomeness of God the Father which revealed his heart. In that moment he saw his words, and how they affect everyone and anyone who hears them. Some of my most sinful moments have come out of my mouth. We live in a society today that wants to talk. Everyone has an opinion; everyone has something they want others to hear. What if we became a church of listeners instead of a church of talkers? What kind of effect do you suppose we would have on the world around us? Maybe we are not listening to what is happening around us, and are too focused on what we want to say. Maybe we would be more effective in our sharing of the gospel if we were willing to listen to the person who needs to hear it first.
                The other issue that the Lord brought to my attention was that when I say something, I need to mean it. If I say I am going to pray for someone, I need to do it. If I say I am there for someone, then I need to be there for that person. I have had people tell me that they will be there for me if ever I need anything, but then when I call them for help, I either get turned away or never get called back. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:37 (NLT) that we must let our “Yes be Yes, and {our} No, No, for whatever is more than these is from the evil one. What Jesus is telling us is that we need to mean what we say and say what we mean. My words as well as my deeds affect everyone around me.
                Our yes should be yes and our no’s should be no. A sign of a weak character is someone who says yes, but does not do what they say they will. It demonstrates to the hearer that your word means nothing, and that hurts our witness and effectiveness for Christ. Mean what we say and say what we mean. If we say that we will help a sister or brother, then we need to do it. If we say we will pray, then pray. What we say reveals who we are and where we are in Christ. Paul tells us that we are to let the “word of Christ dwell in” us richly. If we do then we will speak what is pleasing to the Lord and the affect on the lives around us will be ones of peace and love.

                Our words can be just as sinful as our deeds. It is not our life, it is His. Everything we do and say affects someone, whether it is our spouses, our friends, our brothers and sisters in the Lord, co-workers, etc. Even those whom we speak about behind their backs, it affects the hearer, and if affects the relationship the Lord wants us to have with that same person we are speaking about. We are a people of unclean lips! Woe unto us if we continue in it! “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17- NKJV)

                Let our words be few, and may our hearts be turned to Him as we speak and live the life He has given us. We are on earth and He is in heaven, may our hearts and our words reflect this truth. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen.