It was another Sunday morning cajoling our toddler to get ready for church. Life was a whirlwind on Sunday mornings. We had moved from China to Illinois for Lowe to attend Trinity Divinity School. Having given birth to our daughter in China, I never felt I was doing everything right as a new mom. To some Chinese I was doing everything wrong and now I didn’t feel confident in America either. Our outgoing, active, busy, never-tired, yet sweet toddler was a challenge. However, God sent one experienced mom from India into my life that morning who spoke words of life to me.
Serita was my neighbor on campus , attended the same church and was studying children’s ministry while her husband was getting a PhD. She always had kind words to say and I could see the fruit in her life from her children. She worked in the toddler Sunday school class with our daughter. Seeing my concern she encouraged me, “Your daughter is wonderful to be with and very smart. It will be a challenge to raise her but God has a special plan for such gifted and bright kids. Keep doing a good job and just love her.”
I can remember those words from over 20 years ago. Why? Because words are powerful. Words show the fruit in our lives. Words speak of who we really are and what we think.
Words have significant influence on our lives. They can change the way we think and how we act. We can remember words people speak to us for decades.
When I write, I often double check grammar, delete words, or add thoughts that would be helpful. But when I have said something I can’t change my words. Sometimes I wish I could go back and delete something I said or change the words or just add an “I love you” or “you are special”. Sometimes I just need to delete the whole thing and keep silent.
Instead of doing a “spell check” on my words this week, I’ll plan on a “fruit check”. I will ask God to help me speak words which will be fruitful – full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and the gospel message. God’s words from the Bible are a great way for me to do a “fruit check”:
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 6:24
“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” Psalm 34:13
“Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness.” Psalm 145:6
“…A time to be silent and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:7
“Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:6
“Do not let your speech cause you to sin.” Ecclesiastes 5:6