“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”Matthew 22:36 (NIV)
This week I will begin diving into my new blog series, Watch Your Mouth. We’ve all heard the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” and I have to say that I fully disagree with it. Broken bones heal after a period of time and eventually the pain fades. Words, however, can start world wars, break marriages apart, tear down a person’s confidence, or even lead someone away from salvation. Poison spewed from a loved one’s mouth can affect you for the rest of your life. The way we use our words matter. It matters how we speak to others, ourselves, and God.
So, where do we begin? Well, in my opinion, I think we should first start with what God says about us. Once we understand how God views us and the people around us, it helps us see each other through the lenses of Christ. If you love God and know how much God loves us, it will help you have more sympathy and understanding for the imperfections we all have.
In Matthew 22:36, Jesus was asked the question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
His response was this: “Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV)
Love God, and love people. In a way, we are all siblings in the kingdom of God. We all have the same Father, and we are all loved equally by Him. This may sound funny, but once God opened my eyes to the fact that he loves my neighbor just as much as he loves me, he made it easier for me to have empathy and understanding for others. If you’re from a big family, you might have that one person who seems like they are always up to something, but they are family, so you love them anyway. I feel like we are all family under God’s roof. Unfortunately, our family seems to fight an awful lot. Our world is saturated with sin, which is why God sent Jesus to die for us. Understanding that Jesus not only died for you, but for your troubled family member, really opens a new way of seeing them.
This is something I want you to remember before you speak harsh words about yourself or a fellow human being, Jesus loves us so much that he died for us. Every time you speak harshly about yourself or someone else, it’s like you and I are driving another nail into the hands and feet of our savior. Jesus dying for you just proves how precious you are in the eyes of God. One of the best ways to give back to God is to speak to Him with words of love and gratitude, as well as speaking to others (and yourself) with kindness.
Think of the Bible as one big love letter to humanity. God wants us to love him and love each other. If you want a starting point for reading about God’s love for you, here are a few references:
- You are unique– Psalm 139:13
- You are loved– Jeremiah 31:3
- You are special– Ephesians 2:10
- You were created for a purpose– Jeremiah 29:11
- You are cared for: Ephesians 3:17-19
- You are precious– 1 Corinthians 6:20
- You are important- 1Peter 2:9
- You are forgiven– Psalm 103:12
- You are a new creation– 2 Corinthians 5:17
- You are protected– Psalm 121:3
- You are empowered– Philippians 4:13
- You are chosen– John 15:16
- You are family– Ephesians 2:19
- You are worth dying for! – John 3:16
Friend, you and I are loved beyond measure. We need to watch what we say to ourselves and to others. Remember, Jesus died for ALL of us, so when we bad-mouth ourselves or each other, we are talking down to one of God’s most precious creations. Let it sink in for a moment.
This blog series, Watch Your Mouth, is intended to remind us of how much we are loved, but also to hold you and I accountable to how we exercise that little muscle in our heads known as the tongue.
Satan loves to hear us bash each other and give in to our own insecurities. If you say things out loud in anger instead of releasing those bad thoughts over to God, you have just handed Satan a loaded weapon to use against you. It’s interesting how many times the tongue is referenced in the Bible. God makes it very clear that we need to use our tongues with caution.
As we journey through the next few weeks of Watch Your Mouth, let’s be mindful about how we speak. I’d love to hear some of your favorite verses from God’s word pertaining to how much we mean to him. What is a verse that speaks to you the most in terms of God’s love for us?
Thank you for your love. It is hard for our human minds to wrap around the extent to which you love us.
Help us see each other and ourselves through the lenses of Christ. Let us understand the most important commandment, to love you and also our neighbor.
Please be with my friend reading this email, Lord. Give them peace and understanding in their heart for the mistakes others have made, or perhaps the mistakes they’ve made. If harsh words have ever been spoken to them, help them understand that those words do NOT define them. Our identity is found in YOU and YOU alone.
Direct us in the way we should go and in the way we should love.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For God So Loved the World…
Have you allowed God to call you out of the tomb yet?
If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…
What comes out of our mouth is fruit, good or bad. Are you words sweet and refreshing? Or are they rotten and bitter?
Time for a Self-Check
Whatever comes out of you reflects what is in you…
Leave a Reply