Tuesday, 29 September 2009

poison or fruit - you choose

I have been working on a body part that seems to be out of control at times and has a mind of it's own - the mouth. The bible tells us in the book of James that no-one can control their tongue. No-one that it, is except for the King! He is the only one that can help us control this beast. All we have to do is ask.
As I was doing a study of the scriptures for exactly what the Word says about the mouth, I came across this in The Message translation:

Words kill, words give life; they are either poison or fruit - you choose!
Proverbs 18:21
I was struck by the bluntness of the translation. There it was in black and white, just how powerful my words are. The scripture reminded me of what Peter Parker's uncle said to him just before he died in the movie, Spider man - "With great power, comes great responsibility." Words are so powerful they can kill or give life. And I have the responsibility to choose. Whoa! This blew me away. I can use my power to build people up, or tear them down. That is a lot of responsibility.

Now in a time when I was immature and selfish, I have used my tongue as a weapon. The words that came out of my mouth were laced with poison. I would justify what I did with, "I'm just telling it like it is." But the path of destruction I wreaked with my words was not pretty. In my wake, my mouth destroyed friendships and family relationships. It was definitely not producing fruit. There was no love in my words, just poison. I am ashamed of my behaviour.

In a stressful week a few months ago, when Leader Boy Warrior was being particularly defiant, I blurted out to, "That's it! I've had enough, I'm sending you back to school. I can't take this." Did I have any intention of sending him back to school? No. But the seed of poison however had been sown into Leader Boy Warrior's heart. I made him think that it was his fault that I was unhappy. The next week he started to say to me, "Mum, maybe I should go back to school." When I asked him why he wanted to go back to school, I had forgotten all about my outburst of poisonous words said out of frustration. After some coaxing, he said, "Because it would be easier for you if I wasn't at home. You wouldn't be so stressed." My heart sunk. I asked Leader Boy Warrior for forgiveness and explained to him that I should never have said those words to him. I told him that I loved having him at home and it was not very mature of Mummy to say that. I resolved to watch my words.

On the other side of the coin, I have seen my words produce much fruit. I lavish my Boy Warriors and Mighty Prince Warrior with words of love and encouragement, and because of this have seen much sweet fruit. Courageous Boy Warrior (which incidentally I gave this name due to him being timid and shy - since giving him this name though, he has started to live up to it. Another example of the power of words!) responds to words the most out of all three boys. I have the power to hurt him or help him with what I say to him. One negative comment, and it can take a long time for me to fill his little love tank up with encouraging words. But the more encouraging words I use, the more fruit I see. He has gone from a shy, timid boy to being confident in a group setting.

It's sobering isn't it? To think that we have such power over others with our words. We have a new saying in our home. I have placed this scripture in our kitchen for all to see as a reminder to us all. Now when we hear negative comments, we say "Is that poison or fruit?" I've given my Boy Warriors permission to say this to me as well. Of course, I need to make a particular effort to acknowledge when positive comments are made too with "Wow! I can't wait to see the fruit that brings."

Still taking lessons from the King,

1 comment:

  1. Very valuable lesson there and one we all need at times Jo, thanks :-)


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Jo Princess Warrior xo