“If you’re upset or need something, don’t whine or complain. Use your words.”
I raised three sons in a busy household. A kindergartner, a toddler and a newborn in one thousand square feet. It could be the best gig ever on good days and so defeating on bad ones. Missed naps could create crabby kids. Meltdowns were rare, but an empty peanut butter jar or a lost toy could push even the best behaved into tantrum territory.
Little has changed. Kids are the same today.
“Use your words,” is a phrase I hear directed at young ones with a cranky complaint delivered via non-verbal communication. Pouting, sulking, whining and crying seem to be among the favorite methods to express dissatisfaction with life in the moment. I’m embarrassed to admit I avoid young families in the grocery store checkout line. It’s that “impulse” aisle—those candy and chewing gum infused shelves right at eye level for kids. It’s the perfect storm; a melee in the making.
I recently watched a sweet mom at church remind her three year old to “use your words if you want me to listen to you.” It made me wonder, does God ever feel that way about me?
Perhaps like you, I have my moments. Times I’ve needed a nap, or a meal, or maybe a chill pill. Times when my communication devolves to the toddler-toned whine or the full-blown tantrum. “I’m tired” or “I was upset,” are the excuses that accompany the inevitable apology. God’s not impressed, but He’s faithful to forgive – and He’s equipped us to do better.
- Words are a gift.
The Lord’s given us the ability to express our fears, our hurts, our hopes, and concerns. Among His most valuable gifts (especially when feelings run high) is our voice. Our words. Words are certainly an upgrade over the grunt or groan of the caveman. And James certainly agrees: “A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it,” James 3:5 (MSG).
- Words are powerful.
God spoke the worlds into existence. Our confession that Jesus is Lord transforms us into new creatures in Christ and changes our destiny forever.
- Words matter.
Jesus is the living word. His words in our mouths are the mightiest communication we can create. His words change circumstances.
When life is discouraging, disappointing, or downright devastating, His words give us hope: “ For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength,” Philippians 4:13 (NLT).
When financial issues pile on and the numbers don’t add up, declare His words, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:19 (NIV).
I’ve always delighted in words. I love finding the right ones, the perfect turn of phrase to express delight or dismay. To praise or petition. Turns out not only does our Abba Father listen to us, He provides us the perfect words.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path,” Psalm 119:105 (NLT).
Powerful. Effective. Always successful.
“It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it,” Isaiah 55:11 (NLT).
Now, that’s quite a promise!
What words will you use today to find favor, comfort, direction, or success?