Challenge: Do Not Speak Negativity

I have a challenge for you! Just for a few days, try this: before you speak, take a moment to consider whether what you are about to say is positive or negative. Is it building up the person that you are speaking to, or is it destructive? Is it building faith or is it agreeing with the enemy’s strategy to make us fearful? Is it filled with love or with hate? What you are about to say can be absolutely true, and yet not contribute any good to the conversation. And if it is negative in any way, you have the choice NOT to say it after all, and I hope that you do make that choice!

We are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). But how can we be light if we keep on speaking darkness?

Matthew 15:16-20 (WEBBE): 16So Jesus said, “Do you also still not understand? 17Don’t you understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the belly, and then out of the body? 18But the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart, and they defile the man. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies. 20These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands doesn’t defile the man.”

Jesus Himself said “the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart”. Now I am sure we are all feeling quite comfortable that we don’t think and say the thoughts listed in verse 19. Those are quite extreme, right? But negative and hurtful and fearful words still come from the heart, and still indicates what is in our hearts that is not in line with God’s perfect plan for us.

Paul and Timothy wrote to the Philippians what SHOULD be on our minds and in our hearts:

Philippians 4:8-9 (WEBBE): 8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honourable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report: if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think about these things. 9The things which you learnt, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

If we fill our hearts with these good things, out of our mouths will flow only good:

Ephesians 4:29 (WEBBE): 29Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for building others up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Not only does what you say reflect what is already in your heart, it also strengthens what is already there. As for me, I choose to fill my heart and mind and words with things “of good report”. I don’t always manage to stick to that decision, and sometimes I get drawn into the negative conversations around me like I did today. But I am thankful to God that I could find renewed wisdom in the Word!

Some things are relatively easy to stop saying as soon as you are saved, the obvious things that would not fit in with being a Christian. But the more subtle negative and fearful things can take a long time indeed to even recognise. Hence my challenge to you to pay attention to what you speak!