A New Creation

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…

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Laura, I enjoyed reading your post. Thoughts and words are so powerful for good or evil. I noticed the comment about the thoughts not having power over us was pointed out by the others I have read so far, too, and by me. That’s something for us to pray for for each other.

  2. says

    So thankful He sees the intent of our hearts, forgives our humanity and embraces us quickly no matter how long it takes to get lined up correctly with Him. He is bigger than the spoken word of man.

  3. says

    That thought Jennifer had about the dirty blouse from the dumpster, and putting it in our closet… it made me think of your son’s shoes from your previous post.

    How many of those thoughts have we lived with for so long, accepted, and made part of our wardrobe that they are comfortable. So comfortable, that even if our “feet” are getting cold and wet, we don’t want to change to the new shoes, new thoughts, new clothes, new labels, because they are uncomfortable and feel cumbersome until we get used to taking captive every thought.

    thank you for your thoughts! And boy did I slip back into the old wardrobe this weekend… it is really hard to get out of again!
    God bless,
    Heather

  4. says

    Don’t think ill of me, but I had to laugh when I read your “Oh crap” words. Maybe my standards are too low but I guess I never looked at saying that as negative. I do try to what my “testimony” around others so I jump up a level and have transitioned to saying “oh crud” at times. Usually when I say it is in not in anger but like oh crud I forgot to do that. At any rate, I should be more conscientous about saying that word but I guess there’s so many other hards comments, negative thoughts and condemning words to myself that crud/crap is down the road.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself for saying that. However, I’ve come to learn in the Christian walk each of us learns and feels conviction for what we should or shouldn’t do. I don’t know if that makes sense or not.

    I, too, loved her analogy about the dirty blouse. As I read that I actually envisioned it and thought it was pretty gross.

    You have an excellent plan to rise with a cheerful heart while you meet the Father.

    Great post, Laura.
    Paula

  5. says

    You make me smile, Laura! I heard once that we talk to ourselves more than anyone else. I had never given that much thought. My self-talk has not been so healthy through the years. I continue to work on it and pray Psalm 19:14 over my mouth…….okay so I am praying that right this minute because of your reminder!
    As always, thank you for blessing my day!
    Love to you,
    Cheri

  6. says

    Oh, Laura…what a challenge. Tomorrow when my alarm goes off, I believe I will try to capture my first thoughts to greet the day my Lord has made, and make them obedient to Him. Too many mornings, my mouth opens with similar words to the one’s you shared. If they don’t actually transmit into sound, they are in my head, quietly stirring. God does hear them.
    So, now, I will see if I remember accepting this challenge in a few hours. 🙂

  7. says

    Some days I just need a good cleaning of my mind to allow the words to be much sweeter, gentler, more loving. Holy Spirit….bring Your broom and sweep, sweep, sweep.

    Love to you Miss Laura,
    Yolanda

  8. says

    Hi Laura,

    Okay I admit it you gave me a chuckle, only because I have done the exact same thing so many times in the morning. After this study and your post though I’ll be more aware of what I’ve just done.

    It does start in the morning doesn’t, we need to worship and thank our Father before our feet hit the floor.

    Thanks for the reminder my friend.

    Carol:)

  9. says

    A lifelong journey. But there is victory in Him.

    Wow Laura! I really really loved this part especially. Thank you for being so honest. I laughed at “oh crap” cuz oh sister I have been there. I just always hope someone elses shortcomings have Jesus so distracted that He doesn’t see mine, but we know how He is…sees all, hears all.

    Love you!!
    lelia

  10. says

    It’s comforting to know, dear Laura, that I am not the only one who wakes up and speaks words that “fall like a boulder” first thing in the morning. I make a conscious effort but…well, you know. My self talk has improved this week, and even when I have bad moments and I start thinking wrong thoughts about myself, I’m stopping myself in my tracks. God is so good! Can’t wait to tackle chapter 3! Much love, Paula 🙂 xo

  11. says

    Laura, I so enjoy reading your posts even though I don’t always leave a comment. Your “oh crap” moment put a smile on my face because I have SO BEEN THERE! I could very well be the worst ‘morning person’ alive but I was determined at the start of this school year to not roll out of bed until I had greeted God. Well…I turned off my alarm clock, began my well-intended moments of praise and would find myself waking up 25 minutes later when the daily schedule already blown and the same words coming from my mouth. I tried again, with the same results, for a few more days then I realized that God made me and knows that mornings have never been “my thing” so I do my best to keep my mind clear and mouth closed until I’ve had time to praise him AFTER I’ve showered and dressed. 🙂

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