We are ready to begin the second chapter of our Yes to God Bible study with Lelia. This week’s chapter of Jennifer Rothschild’s book Self Talk, Soul Talk is entitled Renewing Your Thought Closet.
I have been so inspired by this week’s reading, friends. My, my, my—have I been cleaning the closet.
Late last week I read this:
“Take special care to guard your tongue
before the morning prayer.
Even greeting your fellowman, we are told,
can be harmful at that hour.
A person who wakes up in the morning is
like a new creation.
Begin your day with unkind words,
or even trivial matters–
even though you may later turn to prayer,
you have not been true to your Creation.
All of your words each day
are related to one another.
All of them are rooted
in the first words that you speak.”
—from Your Word Is Fire: The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer, edited and translated by Arthur Green and Barry W. Holtz as read by me in Space for God by Don Postema
I became determined to pay attention to the words I tell myself early in the morning. I wanted to be true to my Creation.
So yesterday morning, when alarm goes off–awakening me to sweet time with my Father…
What are the first words that pass through these lips?
“Oh, crap!” I uttered as I fumbled around in the dark, anxious that this premature morning call will awaken the other three sleeping members of my house.
As the words fell out, landing with a thud in the air around me—I froze.
Though no one else heard them but me, they sounded…ugly.
Is this the way I have been greeting the day the Lord has made?
Is this how I have risen to meet with Him?
How can my words breathe life into others when they fall like a boulder on my world first thing in the morning?
Jennifer refers to the writer of Proverbs and his wise words about the power of our speech.
Proverbs 3:13-15—“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”
Jennifer says, “I do believe Solomon is saying that truly wise and prudent speech is rare. When you hear it, you know it, and you marvel.
Did you realize that your words could have such an impact?”
I always try to measure my words when speaking to others. Why not to myself?
Jennifer adds, “Imagine being in a park and finding a filthy blouse over by the Dumpster. Could you ever see yourself picking it up, taking it home, and hanging it in your closet by your best little black dress?”
This word picture spoke volumes to me. In a sense, this is what I do when I allow destructive words into my thought closet.
I’m really working on holding these thoughts captive this week (and forever, I pray), dear ones. I hope you are too.
Jennifer readily admits that, “We probably never completely erase old memories, forget old thoughts, or wipe away former self talk. Those things are simply there, and depending on what we do with them, they add or subtract to the quality of our lives…You can’t remove those hurtful thoughts, words, and memories, but by the power of God, you can drain them of their potential control over you.”
A lifelong journey. But there is victory in Him.
I want my words to be more precious than rubies.
Still working on cleaning that closet…