Today Jana Kennedy-Spicer takes time to share with us about journey through The book Keep It Shut!
Jana is a blogger, graphic artist, Bible teacher and speaker passionate about inspiring and encouraging women on their daily walk with Christ.
Follow her on line at www.SweetToTheSoul.com
There I was, standing face to face in that volatile moment, searching for the precise words, so I exhaled an internal tear filled prayer from my heart to God, “Lord, give me the right words to say.”
Of course, what I really meant was, “Lord I have a g.r.e.a.t. comeback and it’s smacking the back of my teeth to get out, so when I let this bad boy loose, let it puh-leese be fully understood – open their stubborn mind to finally get MY point. Thank you Jesus. Amen.”
God being God, He did indeed promptly respond to my prayer request.
“Stop talking. Seriously. Jana. Stop. Talking. Let me handle this. Step out of my way.”
What? I’m in Your way? No, no I’m helping! Right?
“No, stop talking.”
Ok God, but if you want me to stop talking then I’m going to need some help, no, a lot of help, in fact I’m going to need lots and lots and lots and lots… of help.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been in that situation or if you have conversations with like that God. You may be shaking your head thinking, “oh yea, been there!” You know, sometimes when I pray to God it seems like His response lingers, sometimes I have to wait; then other times, just as with Daniel (9:23) even as I have barely begun to pray, an answer is immediately dispatched from Heaven.
The answer to my prayer had indeed been dispatched from heaven and promptly arrived on my doorstep the following day, literally.
I love when the doorbell rings and I see that delivery truck sitting in front of my house. Excitement takes me to the door to find what goodies have been left on the front porch. A package. Anticipation. A new book!
“Keep It Shut – What to Say, How to Say It and When to Say Nothing at All” by Karen Ehman
Seriously?! I had to laugh. And then say, “Ok God. Thank you.”
Here we go.
Hungrily I sat down with my new book and read it cover to cover. Then reread it slowly, over a couple of weeks, with each chapter and each topic and each lesson asking God to teach me the specific message He had tucked away in the pages of this book just for me. And He did friend, so so many wonderful loving lessons for me to learn as we met together each time and I followed Him during this journey through His word and the words He had given this author about how I should use my words.
“Gracious words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
One particular learning I felt Karen had written specifically to me, although I know it’s really for all of us, was concerning speaking with gracious words.
Several years ago when the Lord began nudging me into a ministry, Proverbs 16:24 was the scripture He gave me. This is what Sweet To The Soul would be about, inspiring women through God’s gracious words. I specify “God’s” gracious words because Jana’s words are not always gracious. In fact, if you were to ask my husband or children, they can testify that my words can, sadly, be anything but gracious.
I’d like to share with you some new things God has taught me about an old scripture that has been in my heart for a very long time.
What do words look like when they are gracious?
- Kind – mild, gentle, considerate, helpful
- Courteous – refined, civil, showing good manners
- Compassionate – sympathetic, caring, concern
- Pure – simple, free from contamination
Logic would tell us then, that if our words are not gracious then they must be just opposite — they are unfriendly, nasty, rude, discourteous, harsh, unkind, harmful, filthy and even toxic.
In comparing these two lists it is much easier to understand why we are told that gracious words are healing to our bones, because, for sure, everything on that second list of NOT gracious words can be nothing short of damaging.
Karen asks us, “What is the result of intentionally speaking graciously to our family, friends, and other necessary people? Of loving them without stopping? Of containing our anger when we speak and dealing with them in a patient and faithful way?”
“When we choose to lace our words with grace – healing happens.”
She further explains, “We might have to choose to let go of the need to prove our point, choosing instead to do the right thing, to impart grace and deal with the other person in love and with utmost patience.”
- Are my words part of the problem or part of the solution?
- Are my words promoting healing in this relationship or are they causing damage?
- Do my words show the other person I care about them or that I care more about myself?
Friends, our words matter. They can bring life or death, joy or sorrow, hurt or healing. The choice is ours with every word we speak, type, write, text or tweet.
Let’s choose life giving, joy bringing, sweet gracious healing words.
Blessings Soul Friends,
“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne