I hope and pray others will benefit from this devotional as well. As we learned in the last post, found here, this devotional contains excerpts from a book by Brady Boyd. I don’t really know anything about Mr. Boyd, but I sure can relate to him where he claims he is a self proclaimed “gunslinger of painful words.” I can relate….
If you know me, you probably would not think of me in those terms, but ask my husband, Bill! He’s seen me at my worst and he has been the recipient of some of my gunslinging painful words. Fortunately, today (August 19, 2017), we are celebrating our 28th re-marriage anniversary! You see, after 13 years of marriage, I divorced Bill. You can learn more here if you aren’t familiar with our story. Suffice it to say, we have now been married, on and off, for 42 years. We both changed a lot and our second marriage is now WAY better than we could have ever imaged marriage. So there is hope for me after a decade or so of us practicing the BEST Principle for our marriage. Now to practice a few steps from this devotional
But still, God isn’t finished with me yet….I am still in need of better control of my emotions/words/thoughts/deeds and actions! My mother in law has a picture with this quote on it – she kept it on her dresser for as long as I remember. While she had a few quirky things about her, she was about as perfect of a person (or at least mother in law) as I know. So I never got it, but in recent years, it is starting to ring true for me!
Let’s get back to the devotional:
The Four Conversations: Part 2
Conversation 2: Between You and Yourself
Come on, admit it. You talk to yourself too. The real question here is whether that self-talk is false or true.
Once you’ve checked in with God, it’s wise to run some quick diagnostics on yourself. Is your self-talk helpful or harmful as you approach this exchange with someone else? Are you believing the best about God, about yourself, and about the person you’re talking with? Or are you falling prey to lies?
This second conversation—the one that happens in your heart and head—is crucial. If your self-talk is laced with disparagement and denigration, then you’re better off heading back to conversation number one and giving God an opportunity to recast that inner dialogue.
Conversation 3: Between You and the Enemy
Third, it’s absolutely critical to acknowledge that you have a very real enemy, and he is very interested in how you use your words. He loves it when you use them to hurt people rather than heal them, to promote yourself instead of God.
After checking in with God and getting your self-talk truthfully reset, you’ll do well to get into the habit of assessing the Enemy’s level of access in a given situation. Are you about to communicate from a place of anger, hunger, exhaustion, exasperation, desperation, resignation, or fear? These postures are ripe for Satan’s picking, so you might be better off keeping your mouth closed—at least until you’ve chilled out, settled down, eaten a snack, taken a nap, and moved in your attitude to a place of peace.
Conversation 4: Between You and Me
The fourth and final conversation is the one between you and me. Even after researching this book and practicing its tenets for more than two decades, I still find it astounding how kind, timely, and wise the words I speak to others can be when I’m faithful to steward the other three conversations well. Of course, that’s probably because those words aren’t completely my own but carry the weight of a higher influence—the One through whom all true healing and wisdom really come.
I want to speak words that gladden the heart of God. If you do too, then I invite you to read on.
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:6 ESV
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ESV
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven….” Luke 6:37 ESV
WOW, LOVE this: “I want to speak words that gladden the heart of God.” I don’t know about you, but this is speaking clearly to me….now to put it into practice!