“Words & Attitudes Matter!” October 19

 

Words & Attitudes Matter - Words and attitudes matter! Whether we’re nagging or encouraging, praising or criticizing, they matter. They matter in our relationships with the people in our lives. Words and attitudes also matter in our relationship with God. Will we be patient and faithful in times of tribulation, as well as blessing, or will our praise quickly turn to anger and bitterness? And if we realize our words and attitudes need to change, where do we start?Words and attitudes matter! Whether we’re nagging or encouraging, praising or criticizing, they matter. They matter in our relationships with the people in our lives.

Words and attitudes also matter in our relationship with God. Will we be patient and faithful in times of tribulation, as well as blessing, or will our praise quickly turn to anger and bitterness?

And if we realize our words and attitudes need to change, where do we start?

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 23 & 24
Psalm 119.17-24
Proverbs 27.15-16
2 Thessalonians 1.1-12

 

Words & Attitudes Matter!

 

Proverbs 27.15-16:

It Starts with the Heart

 

dripping faucet

“A continual dripping … and a contentious woman are alike …”

Ladies, we need to understand what God is saying here about the power of our words and attitudes.

None of us lives in a perfect world. We have spouses and children, bosses and co-workers, family, friends, and neighbors who are imperfect. But we can choose how we’ll respond.

Will we be the women Peter encouraged us to be?

¹ In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. (1 Pet. 3.1-4 NLT).

Will we choose to live the kind of lives that win others even without words (v. 1)? And when we do speak, will they be impacted by the purity and reverence of our lives (v. 2) or will they see a harsh, prideful heart?

Proverbs has a lot to say about the power of our words:

A gentle answer deflects anger,
    but harsh words make tempers flare.
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing,
    but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. (Prov. 15.1-2 NLT).

Those who control their tongue will have a long life;
    opening your mouth can ruin everything (Prov. 13.3 NLT).

Some people make cutting remarks,
    but the words of the wise bring healing (12.18 NLT).

He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit (Prov. 17.27 NKJV).

Kind words are like honey—
    sweet to the soul and healthy for the body (Prov. 16.24 NLT).

The tongue can bring death or life;
    those who love to talk will reap the consequences (Prov. 18.21 NLT).

And what about our attitudes? As Peter reminded us in the passage we just read (1 Pet. 3.1), we communicate even when we’re not speaking.

Mockers are proud and haughty;
    they act with boundless arrogance (Prov. 21.24 NLT).

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16.18).

Ladies, how do we want our husbands and others to think of us? We have a choice. But if we want to reflect a godly attitude, if we want kind words to fill our mouths, we’ve got to start with our hearts. Jesus said:

“It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness” (Mk. 7.20-22).

What are you putting into your heart? God’s truth or worldly ideas?

On what do you meditate? On slights and hurts, things you wish you had, on all your husbands faults? Or do you cultivate gratitude, contentment, forgiveness, and grace?

It’s your choice and mine.

 

Words & Attitudes Matter - Words and attitudes matter! Whether we’re nagging or encouraging, praising or criticizing, they matter. They matter in our relationships with the people in our lives. Words and attitudes also matter in our relationship with God. Will we be patient and faithful in times of tribulation, as well as blessing, or will our praise quickly turn to anger and bitterness? And if we realize our words and attitudes need to change, where do we start?


Today’s Other Readings:

 

Jeremiah 23 & 24:

The Father’s Plan

 

As I read chapter 23, verses 5 & 6, I was reminded of Genesis 3 where right in the middle of pronouncing the curse that would come on Adam and Eve as a result of their sin, God said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3.15). Right there in the garden, God gave them, and us, a glimpse of His plan to restore His creation to right standing with Him.

And here in Jeremiah 23, as He is pronouncing the consequences of Judah’s repeated disobedience, He promises to bring them back:

5 “ Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD,

“ That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
6 In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His name by which He will be called:

THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Another reminder of the coming of the promised Messiah—what a good and awesome God we serve! “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5.8) and that was the Father’s plan from the beginning.

Another passage that is full of hope is 24.4-7:

4 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel. ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. 6 For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. 7 Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.

Look at that passage again. “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel. ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good …'”

There were those among the people, including Daniel and his friends, who were taken captive to Babylon long before the final captivity and destruction of the city of Jerusalem. Instead of allowing it for their hurt, God allowed it for their protection and good. And He promised to exalt them in due time. Yes, they would be tested and refined, but He would be with them.

We, too, need to remember when we go through difficult and, seemingly, unfair circumstances that He will use it for our good and His glory.

 

Psalm 119.17-24:

Open My Eyes

 

Psalm 119.18 Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.

As the psalmist continues to extol the virtues of God’s Word, his prayer is that God would open his eyes that he might see wondrous things from His law—a great prayer for each of us to pray every time we prepare to open the Scriptures.

 

2 Thessalonians 1.1-12:

Patience & Faith in Tribulation

 

Paul said in verse 4, “… we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure.”

Like Daniel and his friends, we have no greater opportunity to show that we are different from the world around us, than when we are experiencing trials, tribulations, and suffering. It’s easy, even for an unbeliever, to be happy and pleasant when life is going his or her way. But it’s in the trials, that we demonstrate the fact that our trust is not in our circumstances, but in Christ alone!

 

Your Thoughts:

How has God spoken to you today? Did you see a passage in a new light? Did you see an area where you need to grow and change? Did you find a promise to hold on to? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Coming Up:

In the next few days, we’ll talk about how our thoughts run our lives, unborn babies, the Tribulation, whether our faith is genuine and more.

Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.

You can also sign up for special “Christian Living” posts like this week’s “Praying through the Bible.”

Praying through the Bible - One book that continues to resonate with me and impact my life, particularly my prayer life, is Donald Whitney's book Praying the Bible. Even though I had prayed many Bible passages in the past, his book encouraged me to pray more from the Scriptures, especially the Psalms. One of my goals for next year is to pray through the Bible as I read. I'd like to share with you what that will look like and give you some examples of how to pray passages of Scripture.

Blessings,
Donna

 


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4 thoughts on ““Words & Attitudes Matter!” October 19

  1. Thank you Donna. I’ve been praying through many of the scriptures you shared due to a few circumstances. I pray I reflect God’s light as I make a few decisions and deal with a few uncomfortable situations. Thank you for sharing and reminding me to have patience and faith in tribulation!

    • I prayed for you when I read your comment. Peacemaker ministries (if you’re not familiar with them, they have lots of material on conflict resolution), says there’s a difference between peacemaking and peace-faking (avoiding conflict to keep the peace). Sometimes conflict and other issues have to be dealt with before there can be genuine peace. I know God will give you wisdom as you seek to honor God in that uncomfortable situation.

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