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is the key
Week of February 28 - March 6
S C R I P T U R E
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24 NIV
I knew the moment the words came out of my mouth.
My son’s eyes and face said it all. My words had crushed his spirit. I had been frustrated, and now I felt guilt and shame.
I knew there was a battle going on inside of me as I reflected on my harsh, graceless words. The enemy wanted me to focus on my momentary failure, but God invited me to fix my eyes on Him and see beyond my words to my heart.
Jesus said in Matthew 12 that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. If it was in my human strength, simply trying harder to be kind and encouraging with my words would be inconsistent at best. Instead, I asked God to forgive me for my harsh words and reveal what was going on in my heart.
God brought King David to mind. I turned to Psalm 139 and saw something I’d never seen before. Verse after verse, David declared what he knew was true of God. After reminding himself of truth, he invited God to search his heart, test his anxious thoughts and reveal if there was anything offensive to God. And then asked God to lead him in His life-giving way.
David knew that his heart was key to this process.
I asked God to search my heart and my thoughts. He revealed in my heart areas of fear, resentment, and a few other things I’m not proud of. As I asked God’s forgiveness, He forgave me – He overwhelmed me with His peace and His grace brought a change in my heart and posture. In turn, God began to bring change to the words I used to those around me.
God desires that I encourage and build up those around me, and I am learning the key is my heart, not my perfection.
My generous God moved toward me with His grace. In Christ, I’m drawn to take a tender and responsive posture as the Holy Spirit reveals areas in my heart that need to be refined. His gentle guiding begins to transform my heart. And my words start to become increasingly generous to those around me.
P R A C T I C E
Would those around me say that I am generous with my words?
What do I want the harvest of my words to be?
This week, pick one person to be generous with your words towards. This can be someone you know well or just someone you will be in contact with frequently during the week.
Ask God to help you see their needs. Ask Him to lead your words toward, ask Him to speak life into them through your words.
(bonus practice) 👀 👏
Invite someone close to you to ask you how being generous with your words this week is going. Be bold; ask them to hold you accountable and to encourage you in it.