Words
Lysa TerKeurst

"With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people, who have been made in God's likeness." James 3:9 (NIV)

A few weeks ago two of my kids were having a growth opportunity. "Growth opportunity" is the new phrase us TerKeursts use for "fight." It's like when people say pink is the new black.
Growth opportunity is the new fight.

Anyhow, back to the two kids who love each other but didn't like each other very much in the heat of the moment. I pulled out my proverbial soap box, got my hand positioned just right on my hip, and told these two young teens to look outside the window of our home. I told them that outside our home a world exists of people who may or may not be nice to us. There are no guarantees.

"But, inside this house," I continued as I turned them toward one another, "there are certain guarantees. Since the day I birthed you, I have preached one sermon about the words spoken in our home. It is a simple sermon. Before you part your lips to speak, you must ask yourself this question: Are my words kind, necessary, and true?"

"If the answer to all three parts of that question is yes…proceed ahead."

"If the answer to any part of that question is no…stop the words from coming out."

Does that mean there is no room to address hard issues with one another? No. But it will always be done with a spirit of kindness using only words that are necessary and true.

I then ushered these precious teens outside to a bench in my front yard and instructed them to figure out their issues between the two of them. But they were not going to bring words into our house unless they were kind, necessary, and true. Thank you very much. Have a nice time on this warm little bench on this warm little day.

Be sure when reading that last paragraph to do it with the mama attitude. I'll wait right here if you need to go back and re-read with attitude.

There are some verses in James I'm considering writing on the palm of my hand. Think of how handy it would be just to flash my palm up in the midst of my people's growth opportunities with this verse in bold ink: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My people, this should not be" (James 3:9-10).

That same chapter of James goes on to read, "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice" (verse 16).

Have mercy. I do not want disorder and every evil practice to be invited into my home. And if envy and selfish ambition (which are where ugly words come from) are the key that opens the door for all that evil mess, then I will do everything with the power of Jesus in me to tame tongues. And all my Jesus girlfriends said, Amen!

Dear Lord, help me to know how to teach my children how to be more like You. Help me to model You in my actions, my reactions, and in every word I say. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
If you are on board with this, leave a comment on Lysa’s blog today by clicking here . Just think what might happen if all of us commit to kind, necessary and true words only.

Plus, leave your name on Lysa’s blog post and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Lysa’s latest book!

To read more about taming the tongue using “Kind, Necessary and True Words,” get a copy of Lysa’s latest book, Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl

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Application Steps:
Take a moment to think about the words spoken in your home. Are they laced with tones of harshness? Bitterness? Envy? What can you do today to begin to improve these words and tones?

Reflections:
Ask the Lord to help you shine a light on all of the words that are spoken within the walls of your home so you can recognize any flaws and begin to change them. Growth and a change of direction can only begin when we can see and admit there is an issue.

Power Verses:
Philippians 2:5, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." (NIV)

Philippians 1:9-10, "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ." (NIV)

© 2010 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Cyndie said...

Went to your blog to post how much I love this one! (The link took me to your "One less" post)I need to find my"bench" and let my people have their "growth opportunities" and make their"bench marks" there... What a perfect way to look at it.. Kind, necessary or true...I am going to use that one...(ha ha...) and...I am re-committing to this as well...Can't very well have "my people" chosing their words and not be proving myself at the same time..Thanks again Lysa, for being such an inspiration

Blogger Theodora said...

This was a very interesting devotion, because I've always been conscious about what I thought and said, but not necessarily HOW it came across. Actions speak louder than my words, and the same person that I want to be in public with others, but showing kindness to others, is the same way I am practicing to be with my family and those closest to me behind closed doors, genuinely and freely. I definitely know God is working on me to improve that. God Bless Lysa :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this. I teach 5th grade. Imagine 22 11 year olds and you can see the growth opportunities that are going on. I've been praying for the answer. I'm going to give this little lecture a try with a few twists to work in the classroom. I think I may make a poster for the room to remind them of kind, necessary and true.

Awesome post! It is so hard sometimes especially with family to watch words and how it comes out. I pray that I can be like Christ with both actions and my words. Thank you for sharing! Love the "growth opportunities"! :)
Sherry

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this great reminder! My two young daughters have had this very issue lately! It was a wonderful family devotion. I've written the verse from James and the reminders about KIND, NECESSARY and TRUE on our 4ft black board that hangs in our kitchen. Don't we all need reminders to speak the truth in love.
Thanks again.

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