May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and redeemer.    – Psalm 19:14

As a former nutritionist, I’ve looked over countless food journals.  Still, today, if you asked for my help with your diet, the first thing I’d ask you to do would be to keep a food journal for a few days. It would show me what your diet is like, your food habits, and food ‘triggers’.  This would help me assess your current diet and know what recommendations to make for the results you’d be seeking.

Here’s a thought…What if we kept a words journal for a few days?  No, I’m not talking about a journal in the usual sense.  I’m talking about a journal where we’d keep track of the words we said.  It would be like keeping a food journal, but instead of listing all the food we eat throughout the day, we’d list all the words we’d said!  Just like food journalists take note of their emotional state/thoughts/feelings at the time food is eaten, we would keep track of our emotional state/thoughts/feelings at the time words came out of our mouths. 

Food journals bear witness to a person’s behaviors, thoughts, and weaknesses.  If I kept a  words journal, it would bear witness to my behaviors, thoughts, and personality weaknesses.  It would bear words of witness as to who I am.

If I kept a words journal, what would it indicate about me?  Would I feel good about the things I’d said?  Would I feel good about myself?  Or would my journal convict me of unpleasant, irritable, impatient, or otherwise not-so-nice verbage? 

In addition to indicating what a person’s diet is like, a food journal also shows what their food patterns are and what ‘food triggers’ they have.   In other words, it shows what food habits a person has and also what types of feelings or situations ‘trigger’ them to depart from good eating habits.  The same could be detected from a words journal.  By studying my words in a journal I could assess the following:

Is there a pattern of times when I’m nicer than at other times?

Does that pattern correlate with time of day?  Situations I’m in? People I’m with? Or my moods?

Are my words pleasing and good most of the time?  Or only some of the time?

What is it that seems to prompt good and nice words?  What seems to prompt mean or unpleasing words?

Do my unpleasing words reflect issues with other people?  Or do they reflect inner feelings that I need to deal with?

Who do I use the nicest words with?  Who receives the worst words?  Can I figure out a reason why? 

Wow.  Can you imagine how enlightening a words journal could be?  I’d suggest that we all keep a words journal for at least three days, but what an arduous task that would be – especially if you talk a lot like me!  As helpful as it would be, it’s not really needed if we remember that we are never alone.  God is always with us.  He’s ever-present and all-knowing.  Consider HIM as a recorder of your words.  Maybe realizing that God ‘journals’ everything about us will help us to reflect on the thoughts above more seriously, respond more intentionally, and use our words more purposefully. If we strive to be pleasing to the Lord, we’ll be pleasing to those around us.

What does the Bible say about words?  PLENTY!!!!  For additional scriptures and related thoughts, see my previous post, YOUR TONGUE: DOES IT WOO OR WOUND? – Archives April 2007.  To research other things the Bible says about words, go to the Dictionary/Concordance in the back of your Bible and look up ‘words’ and related topics.  You can also go to www.BibleGateway.com, enter the word/topic you want to search (“words”, “tongue”), select your preferred Bible version, and be amazed at all the info that comes up.

If you do this, take note of the verses that seem to ‘jump out’ at you.  Is there a theme or pattern to these verses?  If so, God might be trying to speak to you through His Living Word.

Let’s pray.  Dear Lord, I really like the idea of keeping a words journal.  Maybe I should try to keep one even though the task seems daunting.  In the meantime, please reveal to me the things I need to know about the words I speak.  Do they lift others up?  Or cut them down?  Do they promote love and kindness?  Or are they mean and insulting?  Maybe my problem is a lack of spoken words.  Are there things I should say that I’m holding back?  Or is my problem more about the way I say my words than the actual words themselves?  Lord, I want to be pleasing with my words.  At the end of the day I want my words to bear witness of who I am in a way that is pleasing and glorifying to You.  Please help me with these things, Lord.  I share and seek these things in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

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