Tuesday, February 4, 2014

An Excuse For A New Wardrobe

He wore cursing as his garment; it entered his body like water, into his bones like oil. Psalm 109:18

This is a picture of the effects of careless speech. We’ve met people like this and may even be one of them. Cursing here isn’t limited to the four plus letter words that earned us a mouthful of Lava soap (or something equally distasteful). The meaning here is much broader. To curse is to accuse, vilify and denigrate, in other words, trash talk. The persons described in this verse aren't limited to those who are fountains of negativity. To say something nice is a foreign concept. They wear their stinging remarks and acerbic attitudes as badges of honor. We may occasionally fit the bill also. Our words, just like theirs more negatively effect the lives of the speaker than the objects of their scorn.

Dr. Frederick K. C. Price, pastor emeritus of Crenshaw Christian Center would often look at the opposite side of a scripture in order to gain a deeper understanding of its meaning. Suppose the person mentioned above wore blessing as his clothing? What if he/she continually poured out words of encouragement, praise and commendation? What if they used their words to build others up and not tear them down? What impact would that have on their lives personally and of those around them? Those positive words would infiltrate their physical bodies as easily as water integrates into our natural beings. The final result would be very different from the one who curses.

Our words have consequences in our own lives. We alone determine what we say so we have a great measure of control over our well being. I’m not suggesting we adopt a Pollyanna approach to life. There is a difference between speaking the truth in love and verbally lambasting someone. The psalmist talks about a lifestyle of critical, negative words directed at others that boomerangs back on the speaker. Our words shape our lives.

As we enter the new and murky world of healthcare “reform”, being well is more important than ever. Isolation from others isn’t the solution. We should take measures to maintain a healthy lifestyle and speaking words that encourage and edify costs nothing. This takes discipline to retrain our speech patterns but it’s not impossible. Now’s the time to trade in those worn out clothes of cursing for a new wardrobe created by blessings. We’ll look AND feel so much better when we do.

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