As I was preparing a youth lesson for Sunday, I came across an article that said 80% of New Year’s resolutions are left behind before Valentine’s Day. Even with those stats, many of us will still think of the beginning of the New Year as a time of starting over… a time to set or reset goals. The ideas are good- strive to eat healthier, get more exercise, watch less TV, read the Bible more, etc. It’s the needed self-discipline that we really struggle with.
Through the 2012-2013 school year, my ‘theme’ verse was Psalms 141:3
“Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord. Keep watch over the door of my lips.”
I felt drawn to that verse because I knew I needed to work on my words and how I use them to build up or tear down. As I reach the last day of 2013, I find God asking me to take time to reflect on my mouthiness this last year. Paul wrote-
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
How often this year did I discourage others with my words? How often did I talk about others behind their backs? How often did the negativity in my words bring others down instead of lifting them up? Lord, help me, but I don’t think I really want to know the answers to those questions. Suffice it to say, ‘too often’ would answer each one.
Lord, I want to do better this year so one of my goals for the New Year is really a continuation. Lord, help me to use my words wisely. Help me to shut my mouth when it needs to be shut and to speak up when I need to speak up. Help me to be more in tune with the Spirit’s guiding touch when it comes to my words. I want others to see Jesus in me in 2014 but they can’t see him if I tear others down- so help me Jesus! Amen!