Spiritual Detox: Our Words

Kim CrabillBy Kim Crabill7 Minutes

Have you ever thought about how many words we speak each day? Well, can you believe a recent study concludes that most of us — male and female — speak around 16,000 words a day?

16,000! Now, that’s a lot of words! As we take a minute and absorb that statistic let’s ponder Psalm 19:14:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord.

Oh my! I can’t help but wonder how many words from yesterday may have been better left unsaid. And on the other hand, how many thoughts did I have that should have been spoken?

Watch Spiritual Detox with Kim Crabill

Hello everyone and welcome to Strengthen Your Walk. I’m Kim Crabill.

Our Spiritual Detox began in our hearts, moved into our thoughts and today … yes, you guessed it, we will look at what God says about our words.

But before we begin talking about our words, let me give you our next R in our 7 R Detox Plan —Record.

Writing, journaling, and recording our thoughts in words is so important and truly not as intimidating as we might think. As a matter of fact, as you have been reading, recognizing, repenting, rejecting, replacing, and rejoicing … and taking notes about what you are learning you are becoming quite efficient at what so many dread — journaling or recording. But recording is a vital part of the detox program because while we are recording our struggles, we are also documenting our emerging strengths!

Now, let’s get back to those estimated 16,000 words. As we contemplate them perhaps Proverbs 18:21 can guide us:

The tongue has the power of life and death.

We’ve all probably heard the mantra, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Who said that? Words can be crushing! All of us, at one time or another, have been hurt by someone’s words.

On the other hand, we may have read a passage in a novel that inspired us. Or saw a meme on social media that made us laugh out loud, or had words spoken that validated us and made us feel seen … and appreciated. Words … our words have tremendous power!

I find so much truth in Billy Graham’s quote: “Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversation. It is a daily process whereby you grow to be more like Christ.” I would like to add that in that process, each word we use can be like a bulb to bring out the beauty in not only ourselves, but with those around us.

While the detoxing we are engaged in is for us, we are ridding ourselves of what is not Christlike to become more holy and like Him. It’s also about gaining the courage and confidence to be intentional, purposeful, and personal with our words to others so that some … okay, a lot … of those 16,000 words are used for the building up of others and to glorify God.

When evaluating our words, I think we’d all agree that it doesn’t take a theologian to know when we are being hurtful. It’s what we decide to do with those words that makes a difference. We can choose to take any judgmental, gossipy, divisive, self-serving, argumentative words for example and repent — ask God’s forgiveness and, if necessary, ask forgiveness from the person to whom they were spoken. Then when these words enter into our thoughts again – before speaking them – we can reject and replace them with words that build up, edify, and encourage.

Imagine the difference we could make in our world just through our words as we speak them in hopeful and healing ways. Consider the thoughts you’ve had that perhaps you didn’t say.

A few weeks ago, while shopping, I could not find the strawberries that I needed for something very special. A clerk, a young guy, saw me, but I assured him that I had searched and they were nowhere to be found. Obviously disappointed, I went on my way. Within minutes, this same young man found me and surprised me with the strawberries he had taken the time to find. I cannot tell you how overwhelmed I was by his caring spirit! I thanked him profusely and was on my way to check out when I realized “unsaid words have never encouraged anyone!” And so, getting his name, I went to the store manager and applauded this young man’s incredible work and caring ethic. The manager was so shocked. She was obviously only accustomed to complaining customers that she held up a mic and asked me to repeat what I had said.

Friends, there I was telling everyone in that store what a grand guy named Greg they had among them! The store erupted in applause … and my heart overflowed with joy.

We understand the hurt words can cause, but let us remember the hope they can bring.

How about this coming week, we focus less on what we don’t want to say and more on what God would have us say! Let’s let our minds take us to where God wants us to go! Let’s be intentional about looking for people doing good things, and then let’s talk about it! It’s amazing the life and healing that can come from those 16,000 words of ours.

Building up others and making them smile … now that will surely Strengthen Your Walk!

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