Hosea 14:2 NKJV – Take words with you, And return to the Lord. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously, For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.
Proverbs 8:6 NKJV – Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, And from the opening of my lips will come right things
REAL – Adjective – not imitation or artificial; genuine. (Synonyms: genuine, authentic, bona fide)
“REAL is the new four letter word!” Those words flowed right out of my mouth earlier today while talking with an employee. As soon as I said it, the light bulb went off and I told her… “Now, there’s a message!” Now, I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t used another four letter word before. I have… I do. I have shared many times that my mouth is one of my greatest assets/gifts, but sometimes it’s the thing that gets me in trouble the most. Another great gift, is my passion (for The Kingdom, life, people, etc.) and when you combine a gifted mouth (voice) with passion it’s a wonderful thing!
And sometimes, Mmmm… not so much! 🙂
I phrase it like this… At times; I’ve been known to have a palate of colorful language. And, at times it has gone a bit NEON. I’m not proud of this – at all. Seriously, I’m not. I’m working on it.
I understand that the words I use are meant to glorify the Kingdom. I am called to use words that are meant to encourage, uplift, motivate, and inspire. They are to be kind, soft, and at times, gently spoken with a nurturing spirit.
Then … there are other times. Times to get fired up, get passionate, rattle a few cages, and MOVE people off their perch! You know for a fact that does not always happen in a smooth sweet voice with a gentle spirit. No… It does not. Just being real. Sometimes, you just have to give off a little heat. Change the temperature a bit in order to get people to move.
Now, that doesn’t mean I (or you) have permission to fire off a bunch of four letter words to make or prove a point. In fact, you don’t need to get your “colorful crayons” out at all. It’s just that I personally have struggled with this. I use to wonder if I (as a Christian woman – in ministry) was the only one who fought the battle of her mouth.
I found out at a conference a few years back that I was not. Unfortunately, Lucy Swindoll let one slip, and it broke her rhythm and spirit in that moment. I felt for her, but couldn’t help but rejoice in the Lord to know… that I am not the only one.
In fact, I remember it was the “Infinite Grace” tour, and I stood straight up in my seat and yelled out loud — “It’s okay! INFINITE GRACE!”
That one tiny word (as crass as some may have thought it was – although it really wasn’t all that bad)… saved me. Yep! Saved me.
You see, at that time, I was battling with Satan – he kept telling me that God couldn’t use me. My language at times (mostly stress induced) – was too poor. My potty mouth ruined my chances to serve. All I kept hearing over and over in my mind was “Lisa, women in ministry are pure in thought, and language. Never a blemish. In fact, they don’t even think in color.” Really… they don’t?! But, how can that be? Because I do, and I AM A CHRISTIAN. Did you hear me?! I AM A CHRISTIAN WOMAN. (And I am a constant work in progress. I’m striving for His best – everyday.)
Listen, I’m not looking for company in my misery. Trust me! I am not looking for approval for foul language. No’ mam! I am not.
My confession for this weakness is to be REAL with you. Letting you know that I struggle in the flesh too, and that my greatest gift is also at times the biggest thorn in my side. (I couldn’t have said/written something else, but I thought better of it.)
Case in point, I’m thinking more about it now, because while it may not disqualify me; it doesn’t necessarily help me either. I realize that people listen to what I say, so it is critical that the words I speak provide intentional and positive movement for The Kingdom. (This is especially true for anyone He has entrusted with a platform. Plain and simple, we are held to a higher and very accountable standard. This is why Lucy Swindoll felt such shame in that moment at the conference. Yes, there is INFINITE GRACE, but there is accountability too.)
At the root of it all, I love words! In fact, I’ve been called “quite a wordsmith.” (I was called that before I even knew what that was, so I went and looked it up. Ha! 🙂 FYI… I love a dictionary and thesaurus. Ask my kids.)
I’m guessing my passion for words is because; I’m a firm believer that words have power! We all have the ability coupled with Jesus to speak life into death, and change a negative into a positive – with the power of words. The right words will motivate and inspire you! They will move you from A to Z. In contrast, if not carefully chosen, they may cause you to trip and stumble over even the best of intentions.
So Gurlz, I just thought I should share my favorite word with you today…REAL!
And while I am sharing, I thought I should confess with complete transparency a struggle I’ve had for a long time. I’m getting better, but as my beloved Pastor would say… “My tassel isn’t turned.” But, I’m “bloody” working on it!
Just keeping it REAL GURLZ!
Lord, remove the corrupt and indecent words from my mouth, and replace those words with your moral and more virtuous words. I have prayed for a second language, but I see now that I need to be genuinely focused on mastering my first, before asking for more. I seek to honor you and your Kingdom. I desire to feed real Kingdom wisdom to women, and realize my words matter. Lord, I pray for your help as I sacrifice my indecent tongue. I pray for the righteousness of your language to flow through and from me. I ask this in the name of Jesus, and with the power of the Holy Spirit. Remain in me always. (Oh and God… thanks for Lucy. She’s a REAL GURL too.) Amen