When Your Heart Changes, Your Talk Changes
"It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell." (James 3:5-6, The Message)
As God transforms your heart, the way you talk to others will begin to change. And that will bring more harmony to your relationships. Why? Because, in any relationship, most conflict is caused by the words you say and how you say them.
"It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell" (James 3:5-6 The Message).
People respond differently to stress and pressure. When the pressure is on, what comes out in someone’s speech reveals what's really going on in their heart.
Under stress, kind people become kinder and patient people become more patient. Under stress, mean people become meaner, bullies become bigger bullies, angry people become angrier, and opinionated people become more opinionated.
Whatever is in your heart is going to spill out when you're under pressure. So the only way you can control what you say is to manage what’s going on in your heart. How do you really feel about the people you interact with each day? Does social, economic, or political standing have any effect on how you see them? Do you give equal respect to everyone you meet?
Humility means thinking of yourself less and thinking more about the needs of others. It means you meet people on their own terms; you don’t think you know it all. When you practice humility, you start seeing people as God created them: in his image, with great worth.
Ephesians 4:29 says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (NIV).
Imagine what would happen if everyone in the church consistently saw people as God sees them. We would become known for being humble and kind and great listeners. We would have a lot more harmony in our relationships. And we also would show the world more of what Jesus is like!
Talk It Over
Do you regularly look at people and see God’s beloved creation? Why or why not?
How can you change what fills your heart so that what spills out of it reflects God’s heart?
Why do you think humility takes practice? What are some ways you can practice humility today?
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This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.