Scripture: Matthew 22: 34-40
But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’“This is the great and foremost commandment.“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Loving Ourselves by the Words We Speak to Ourselves and Others.
Today we focus for the final time on loving ourselves God’s way. So as we prepare to concentrate on loving others the next eight days, I think the best use of today is looking at how we can love ourselves by reflecting on our words.
We want to speak to ourselves in our inner dialogues in positive and affirming ways.
We want to speak to others in similar ways, whenever possible. This method of communication reflects our love for OURSELVES because we often end up eating our own words!
Have you ever had to do that?
Have they been as sour as a lemon?
I was struck today in reading Proverbs 18 that there were several references to fruit and how we eat what we SAY.
Solomon says in Proverbs 18: 20 that “a man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.” He goes on to say in the next verse that “death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
It was quite interesting to read the origins of the phrase “eat your words.” Did you know that the phrase was first introduced by John Calvin in 1571 in a tract on Psalm 62? “God eateth not his words when he hath once spoken.” So if God is the only one who doesn’t have to eat words, doesn’t it make sense to look at His guidance on our own?
It’s amazing to think about the power of mere words to lift up or cut down. Words can be bitter or sweet.
What would you rather taste?
What would be easiest to digest?
Think about this before you speak or judge.
The damage you do to YOURSELF by your words may not be worth the temporary satisfaction we may derive from cutting down another in a “human” moment of anger or rush to judgment.
So we love ourselves by realizing that our words may come back to us!
You may have seen a well-know individual recently have to eat words publicly. Oh the discomfort and regret!
But we all have “tapes” or “transcripts” in our OWN history that would be unequally uncomfortable to watch and have shown to the world. I have many of my own.
And one day we’ll be going over our own tapes and transcripts with God.
I don’t want to add any more to mine-even though they will all be blotted out.
Bitter or sweet-
Love yourself by praying for sweet words, or, if that is impossible, wise words or silence.
All the Best in 2013!