Hello friends! Today is the first post in the “Lessons from Daddy’s Bible” category. I love this Bible, because my father gave it to me about two weeks before he died. He didn’t leave it to me; he gave it to me. Insisted that I take it right that minute and put it in my car, despite my protests that he might want to keep it and read it.
The first verse, written word for word in his own hand in the top left corner of the front cover of his Bible, is from Matthew chapter twelve. Let’s take a look:
Matthew 12:36-37 “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Words were very important to Daddy. I am blessed, so very blessed to have had a father who spoke words of life into me, right up until he could no longer speak. That’s one of the reasons I adored him so; just to be around him seemed to fill me up and feed my spirit with good things. Some of the things he told me were:
I have unique gifts.
I have important, essential things to offer, that no one else can bring.
I am loved.
I am cherished.
I am indispensable in the Kingdom of God.
I am holy.
I am righteous.
Yes, these are all things my daddy told me, things he poured into my spirit every chance he got. But they weren’t just his opinion! Daddy told me these things, because they are how God feels about me. God’s Word says all of those things. And you know what? That is how God feels about you, too.
Oh, Daddy never told me I was perfect. But I was made in God’s likeness, with a unique flair that makes me, me. Just as you were made in God’s likeness, with a unique flair that makes you, you.
Unfortunately, I’ve been told a lot of other things about myself, too. And they have left deep wounds in my spirit. Things like:
You are ugly.
You are spoiled.
You are lazy.
You are selfish.
You aren’t special.
You are annoying.
You have nothing good to offer.
You’re a terrible housekeeper.
You’re not smart.
And on and on . . .
But lest you feel too sorry for me, I have to be the first to admit that I’ve been guilty of saying careless, hurtful things to other people, too. Sometimes words just slip out, and we don’t realize how damaging they can be to people’s spirits.
Just this morning, I had to break up a little altercation between my two children. One of them said something unkind, and the other responded with a slap on the arm. First, I made the slapper apologize. I told that child that I’ve been guilty of responding the same way, but it doesn’t make it right. After the slapper apologized, I looked at the other child, the one who said mean words. I said, “Words hurt much more than a slap, and it takes much, much longer for the wounds to heal.”
Isn’t that the truth?
I’m so glad this was the first thing Daddy wanted me to see. He wanted me – and you – to know that words are important. And he wanted us to know that the only words we need to believe are the ones God speaks. The rest are lies. Cast them aside, and trust that God will deal with each of us for every careless word spoken.
Dear Father, Help me to control my tongue. When others don’t control theirs, help me to recognize the lies Satan wants me to believe about myself. Heal me from the wounds others have inflicted with their words, and help me to never inflict those wounds on others. Like You, I want to speak words of life, love and truth into those around me. Amen