Have you ever squeezed an orange only to have lemon juice come out? No? Me neither!
While that may be a silly analogy, the same applies to us. When the pressures of life squeeze us, what’s on the inside pours out in our words and actions. Proverbs 27:19 says, as water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart (NIV).
What would our reflections be? Would they display grace and encouragement, nourishing those around us? Or, would the words of our mouth reflect the frustration, anger, and bitterness of hearts grown cold?
In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus put it like this, you won’t find grapes on briers or figs on thornbushes. The tree is recognized by the fruit it produces. Whatever fills the heart, bubbles up and flows through our mouth (paraphrasing).
The truth is, from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. To change our speech, the words we use, the tone we use, and the motivation of our words, we have to get to the heart of the issue. So download your Making Christ Lord Of My Lips Workbook (sign up for the newsletter) and let’s get started!
1.) TASTE YOUR WORDS
The words of our mouth are the fruit of our hearts. If you were to “eat” your words, would sweet, refreshing orange juice or bitter lemon juice flow? Would your stomach turn sour, or be satisfied? What is the health of your fruit?
- From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips, he is satisfied. Proverbs 18:20 (NIV)
2.) DETERMINE WHAT MOTIVATES YOUR SPEECH
Last week we talked about the different forms of poison our mouths can produce. Of the areas you struggle with, what is the underlying root? Is it anger? The expectation of perfection? Frustration? Pride and arrogance? Jealousy? Fear? Perversion? Acceptance? Hurt? Lack of gratitude? Need for attention? Determining the cause is key to “uprooting” the weed.
- Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Matthew 7:17-18 NKJV
- For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
3. CONFESS, REPENT, AND REPEAT
In Psalm 32, David talks about his body wasting away as he kept silent about his sin. Confessing lifts the heaviness from our soul, opening the line of communication with God. The heart of the Father has always been to turn His children back to Him. Resist the enemy’s urge and, over time, the urge will flee.
- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NIV)
- Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19 (NIV)
- Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NIV)
You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. – Margaret Thatcher
4.) COMMIT TO MAKING CHRIST LORD OF YOUR LIPS
Lord – master, captain, commander, King, leader, boss, director, instructor and judge. Whoever sits on the throne of one’s heart, determines the life lived. There is only room for one King on the throne. Either we give all access to our King, allowing Him to steer, direct, and lead or we retain the reigns and direct our own lives.
- For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 (NIV)
- Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37 (NIV)
- But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
5.) STORE GOD’S WORD IN YOUR HEART
To keep our ways pure, we have to live according to His word, seeking Him with all our heart. Hiding His Word in our hearts keeps us heavenly focused and deters us from sin. Though the Making Christ Lord Of My Lips Workbook has scripture relating to our heart, words and renewing the mind, there are verses for every area we struggle in. Search the Bible for them, write them down, commit them to memory.
- I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 (NIV)
- I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. Psalm 119:7 (NIV)
6.) GUARD YOUR HEART
Our hearts are the source of life both spiritually and physically. If we don’t guard it with the breastplate of Christ’s righteousness, we leave our lives open to enemy invasion. Do you find yourself around others who draw those weaknesses out? Are there certain environments or entertainment inviting it into your life?
- Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Proverbs 4:23-24 (NIV)
- Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20 (ESV)
- Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV)
- Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked. Proverbs 25:26 (NIV)
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Guard that time well.
If you missed last week’s discussion on the lifelong damage of the tongue, be sure to check it out!
Don’t forget to download Making Christ Lord of Your Lips Workbook. This 28-page workbook has a 31-Day reading plan, questions, guided prayers, as well as a scripture reading plan for each area discussed in Scripture.
Our family is doing the study together over the summer. I’d love to hear how you use it!