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The Ministry Of A Closed Mouth
We live in a culture of talk and tweets. We’re encouraged to express our feelings, hold nothing back. We’ve all seen in national news how people’s unrestrained talk and tweets can get them into public hot water. Every day I see the relational fallout that comes from thoughtless, deceitful, and cruel words.
Hear me. There are times we ought to keep our negative thoughts and emotions to ourselves and refuse to give them a voice. The Bible warns us that our tongue can be a mighty weapon, for good and for evil. (James 3:1-12).
Proverbs warns us, “Reckless words pierce like a sword” (Proverbs 12:18). We can damage a person’s spirit, family, or reputation by blurting out negative thoughts and feelings without any thought or prayer. Yes, it might temporarily feel better to blurt them out when we’re mad or hurt, but I liken blurting to vomit. Vomit belongs in the toilet and not on another person.
But it’s not only good for the other person that we learn not to blurt our negative thoughts and feelings during moments of great intensity. It is also good for us.
Proverbs 21:23 says, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.”
Proverbs 13:3 says, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”
1 Peter 3:10 says, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.”
Imagine how much better you would feel if you weren’t always complaining or critical of something wrong in your life? How would your relationships be improved if the people you loved didn’t feel angry with you by your reckless or deceitful words? How different would you feel about yourself if you weren’t so captured by your own negative feelings and thoughts?
Here are three things you can do to develop the ministry of the closed mouth*.
1. Decide: No matter how negatively you feel you make a conscious decision that you will not vomit your toxic emotions out on others. (Don’t get me wrong – you may have to speak some hard word at times, but hard words need not be harsh words). The psalmist determined, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence” (Psalm 39:1).
2. Acknowledge the struggle: In Psalm 39 despite his vow to keep silent, the psalmist found keeping quite pretty tough. Silence didn’t bring the psalmist satisfaction but more anguish (see verses 2 and 3). During this time of anguish and temptation write a no-send letter venting out your feelings or praying them out to God until you can get a better perspective and calm down.
3. Remember the big picture: It’s crucial that you understand that YOU are much more than your temporal thoughts and feelings. We all have negative thoughts and feelings but it’s important to not allow them to have us. Instead of getting stuck in your mood or negative thoughts, remind yourself that you are more than your feelings and you will have to give an account for how you handled adversity.
Remember your goals (I don’t want to vomit on people), your deeper desires (I want to be a godly person, or I don’t want to have regrets later) or your values (I want to treat people as I would like to be treated). This practice helps us develop the muscle of restraint and self-control so that we don’t become a slave to our emotions.
Dietrich Bonheoffer said, “Often we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be expressed in words…It must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him.”
Let’s make 2016 a year that we use our tongue and our tweets to build up and encourage one another.
*I first read this phrase “Ministry of the Closed Mouth” in The Life You’ve Always wanted by John Ortberg
13 Traits That Make You A
Question: Is there a prototype of person who is more likely to accept abusive treatment in relationships? My guess is that It’s someone with damaged self-esteem.
Answer: Many women wonder if there is something about them that attracts abusers, especially when they have experienced multiple abusive relationships. For a number of reasons, some women (and men) may be more vulnerable to predators. One reason you mentioned in your question is that they don’t value themselves or don’t think they deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, which is definitely an issue with damaged self-esteem.
But another reason a woman may be more vulnerable to being abused is that she is too naive and/or too nice. She has not been taught by her mother or father to “bare her teeth” when she is in relationship danger. Instead, she learns to ignore the warning signs, to pretend everything is fine, to make nice, to be accommodating to her own peril, and to go the extra mile.
While being accommodating and kind are fine qualities, a girl must also be taught how and when it’s time to speak up, set boundaries, say no, and walk away from a relationship that is disrespectful and dishonoring to her before it ever becomes abusive.
When a woman does not know how to protect herself against a predator, or she’s taught it’s ungodly or unfeminine, she is far more vulnerable to being manipulated, intimidated and abused.
Thirteen Traits That Make You a Magnet for Abusers
In my counseling and coaching work, I’ve observed 13 traits people possess that make them potentially more vulnerable to being abused. Having any one of these traits or all of them does not make the abuse you experience your fault, but in your naiveté and/or unhealthiness, you do become a magnet that attracts abusive people….
The Ministry Of A Closed Mouth
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The Wellness Journey Of A Lifetime
LESLIE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
13 Traits That Make You A Magnet For Abusers
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The Wellness Journey Of A Lifetime
The Wellness Journey of a Lifetime is a lively and life-changing new book by Vicki Heath. The book chronicles the successes of the faith-based wellness and weight loss program and offers rich insights from the author about how to live a healthy lifestyle, including numerous other individual success stories and photos.
The journey begins with a verse.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30
The FP4H program is more than weight loss. You will make changes in your thought patterns, your emotions, the way you fuel and recharge your body with food and exercise, and the way you relate to God and others.
• Discover the Live It Plan—not a deprivation diet.
• Learn to choose foods with benefits—not detriments.
• Change your attitude about exercise.
Are you ready to choose the path of loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide your name and email address.
Winners of Forging A Strong Mother Daughter Bond by Leslie Vernick are Dot H., Judy P., Barbara A., and Patricia K.
Leslie will be Focus on the Family To Discuss her book “Lord I Just Want To Be Happy“
April 8th, 2016
Faith Church, Trexlertown.
Foundations Family Conference – Conference Open to the public. To Attend email Fred at [email protected]
April 28th – 29th, 2016
Faith United Methodist Church
More Information To Come
HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT LESLIE'S COACHING
“I am a different person after counseling with Leslie. I now know that I am worth being treated well by my spouse and how to express my wants and attitudes to him.
I am ok if he doesn't choose to have a relationship with me and I can choose to develop and enrich my own life. Thank you, Leslie, for all your help.”
LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS
Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.
Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.
Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.