“Refreshing” Our Words
Can I share something with you? Nobody else knows this about me. But while growing up, I never liked brushing my teeth. I used to put my toothbrush under the faucet with the running water to convince my parents that I brushed my teethe. When they went to the bathroom to check my toothbrush, it would be wet like it would be when I actually brushed my teeth. There was something about getting the toothpaste out of the cupboard, getting my toothbrush out of the cup, putting the toothpaste on the toothbrush, and then finally brushing my teethe that seemed like a waste of time. I could eat a couple of Hersey candy bars in the span of brushing my teethe!
But then, I learned something from the Prophet James who changed my mind. James said to those gathered: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness” (James 3:9). When I don’t clean my teethe, not only do my teethe become gross and disgusting, but my breath smells bad; and when my breath smells bad, the words that I say are bad. Now, how can I praise God with a mouth that says bad and smelly words?
After thinking about what James was saying, I thought about all the bad things that I have said. I have said things that were hurtful, harmful, and smelly. That’s not what Jesus wants from me. Jesus wants me to say words that are hopeful, respectful, nice, and loving. If I want to be like Jesus, then I have to “refresh” my words to be the words of Jesus. I must brush my teethe with the toothpaste of God. I must brush my teethe with the refreshing words of Scripture. But how do I do that? How do we say things that are not smelly but are refreshing?
First, we must be willing to take the time to actually brush our teethe; and not try to trick our parents. Second, we must ask God for forgiveness. We must say to God, “God, I am sorry for the bad and smelly things I have said. Please refresh my words with your words.” Third, and lastly, we must remember that what we say God always hears. So instead of using name-calling or harsh words or lying or bragging or being ungrateful, say things like, “I love you”; “You are awesome”; “I promise to listen”; “You did a great job”; and “thank you for your help.” With words like these, our words will be refreshed and always smelling good. (Quite possibly, they may even smell minty-fresh!)
So remember, always brush your teethe! God doesn’t like words that are smelly. Instead, God loves words that are kind, loving, and refreshing. Let’s make a promise to God that we will always brush our teethe because we want our words to be the words of Jesus.
Your Friend, Holy Spirit!
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