​Yesterday I heard one of the most powerful messages that I have ever heard. It was given by Pastor Steven Furtick, entitled, "Use Your Inside Voice". If you have a chance to listen to it on You Tube -it will bless you. I’m not going to try to reproduce it, Pastor Steven has his own unique style and he also has a grace on his life to say hard things in a palatable manner. I’m not sure that I have enough of that grace, but after listening to that message, I surely want it.

There is one scripture that grabbed my attention many years ago and it set me on a new path:

"You serpent’s brood, how can you say anything good out of your evil hearts? For a man’s words depend on what fills his heart. A good man gives out good—from the goodness stored in his heart; a bad man gives out evil—from his store of evil. I tell you that men will have to answer at the day of judgment for every careless word they utter—for it is your words that will acquit you, and your words that will condemn you. Matthew 12:37 (PHILIPS)

When this scripture became a Rhema Word to me, it found some places in my heart that were not good. There was some jealousy, some envy, even some bitterness that I had to allow the Holy Spirit to root out. I realized that.if I did not put a guard over my mouth that I would be condemned. I had to learn that:

Looking at it one way, you could say, "Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster." But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.1 Corinthians 10:23 (MSG)

I began to see that my goal could not be to feel that my opinion or my way was expressed, as much as to think of the effect that my words could have on others. 

Today, more than ever before I want to give out words that heal, that unite, that release hope. I see things clearer now then I did years ago. Most people don’t live in deception and promote untruths – on purpose. Most people aren’t unkind – on purpose. Most people just want to have the opportunity to be a part of the conversation.  They want to feel as if their opinion counts too! If someone is in obvious error, or if they are so puffed up that they inflate false words to make themselves look good – if I am a part of that conversation what can I say, not to correct, but to encourage.

The teacher in me strives to reach for a truth and teach it – the is my calling. However, sometimes it’s necessary to grade on the curve to keep the class engaged!

Maria