1 Peter 1:3 (NRSV) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”
The Power of the Tongue
James 3:6 (NRSV), “And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
Oftentimes when you hear the scriptures about the power of the tongue, you hear it in the context of naming and claiming those things that a person wants. However, when put in their proper context, you see that the author was trying to teach the reader about the ability of one to build up or tear down. He wanted the readers to see the error of praising God with their lips on one hand and destroying the life of God’s child on another. Sadly, this is where many of us fail. Tell me if you experience this in your church. The people who praise the loudest, shout the loudest and dance the hardest are oftentimes the meanest people you’ll ever encounter! I have experienced this. However, the book of James says that if we cannot control our tongue, then our religion is meaningless. Remember, it’s not about what we say. It’s about what we do. If our lives do not reflect Christ, how can we be effective witnesses and godly wives and mothers?
The congregants of a local church where I live oftentimes wear T-shirts that say, “Got Hope?” I think the question shouldn’t ask if you have hope, but if your hope is still alive! Think about it. Someone may have hope, but that hope may be dead or inactive. That hope may not cause the person to do or change anything. A living hope is active. It rejuvenates you. It refreshes you. It evolves. It changes. It endures. It’s like an organism living on the inside of you that constantly reminds you of what God can and will do. If this hope is living, then it has to be nurtured. It has to be cared for. It has to be protected.
For example, I recently killed another houseplant (that’s another story). What happened was the plant was not supposed to be in direct sunlight and I had it smack in the main window of our living room. The sun beat down on the plant day after day and it eventually died. I didn’t properly care for it. I didn’t nurture and protect the plant. That’s the same with our hope and the hope in our families. We can beat down the hope in our families day after day by the words we say and by our actions. Ultimately, the hope in our families will die. Hope must be protected.
Seasoning Your Words
Colossians 4:6 (NRSV) says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.” One of the ways that we can nurture and protect the hope in our families is by watching what we say! We have to season our conversations with salt. The salt is the flavor of the Word of God. Don’t merely talk positively to your husband and child(ren). Remind them of what God says about them. Remind them of their future in Christ. Keep reinforcing godly principles and keep reminding them of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. No matter what is going on in the world or in our lives, let’s remind our families of what Jesus says.