Your Words and Actions…Do They Line Up?

Do you ever think about your words and actions?  Do you think about what you say to yourself as well as others?  Do you think about what you do?  Does one line up with the other?  We learned all kinds of words in school.  We learned to pronounce them, spell them, and good and bad uses of our words.

I have noticed more and more lately, that our words do not line up very well with our actions.  We say one thing and do another.  We say we believe this, but our actions aren’t exactly a picture of what we say.  Or, our pictures in no way line up with our words or life style.  Oh, we know they are important.  We do.  But then maybe we want to impress someone, or we want to be “bad” or whatever we are wanting to portray, and we do something or say something that may not line up with the latest Bible verse post we just posted.  Or, maybe we are sharing something that only stirs the pot, instead of calming the storm.  If we are believers, then that is not the way God calls us to live.

I think you know your words have power, right?  Power to build up, or power to destroy; and I’m not talking about just those are around you.  I’m talking about you.  Your words or actions are your self-talk.  Self-talk has lethal effects on your thinking and brain.  Negative thoughts or attitudes is like injecting yourself with an addictive substance; an addiction to bad thinking.  We soon start believing it is true.  What do you see, or think about yourself, as you look in the mirror?  Do you tell yourself negative things?  Do you believe you are shining the light of Jesus in all you do and say with your words?  What about your actions?

I have always been a monitor of my self-talk and I have noticed a slight change in mine.  I’m not liking where it goes.  Oh sure, it is mostly my private time and no body hears it.  But…God does.  I do.  It changes how I feel about things, and the circumstance that is causing it.  Here is a good example.  When I take out The Captain, my Mini, I will get on a road where there isn’t that much traffic and let him go!!  I did that today.  Blow the carbon out, I call it.  It’s fun for me with the speed and the wind blowing in my hair.  But it’s also good for The Captain.  He sits a lot more than he should.  In essence, we need to do that with our thinking and feelings.  We can’t be governed by our thoughts and feelings because those just built up, clog up, and cause us to be sluggish and we may even have misfires.  If we allow God to help us clean out our “thinkers”, and replace those words with something powerful and positive, then we blow the carbon out of our innards and make it possible to run with the wind!  We can once again see our words lining up with our actions.  In scripture, God calls it renewing our minds.  Makes total sense to me why He tells us to do that so often.  Ask Him to renew your mind.  We NEED to allow Him to do it.  It isn’t likely we will do it on our own, given our devices.  We have to surrender it, and renew our thought life.

Why you may ask?  People watch you.  They see your posts.  They see your life style.  They see your actions in public.  It is a lot of responsibility.  I get that.  But God calls us to it.  He doesn’t tell us it’s going to be easy.  He may tap you on the shoulder many times in the next few weeks IF you agree to change things up.  We can’t bash a person to bits who thinks differently than we do in one post, and then post how much we love Jesus or a Bible verse about love, in the next one, unless we take down the bashing posts.  We can’t call someone a name, or use bad language, and then not expect those who know we are Christians not want to turn their heads sideways with a questioning glance, and be thinking… what?!?!???.  God expects us to be different.  As we ask God to renew our minds, we are asking Him for the Holy Spirit to work in us. He will, and He will do that by bringing us up short when we lean in the wrong direction.  But because we are the only Jesus that some will see, what kind of person do they perceive Him to be?

Before you say, “Humph! Who does she think she is?!”  I’m just a child of the King!  A child of a God who is pruning my tree pretty hard!  I just wanted to let you know you aren’t alone.  However, I AM allowing God to do the hard pruning.  I say ouch quite often.  But I can see His purpose in calling me out to become a better example of Him.  Like today, when someone went flying into the beach throwing dust and sand all over, I didn’t have nice things to say about how he was messing up The Captain and blowing that into the car.  But it didn’t take long and the Holy Spirit said, “Well now.  That didn’t take long.”  So I said, “Well…he was a nice idiot.”  I think I heard God clear His throat.  Ok…  I repented and asked forgiveness. That is key.  Give it to Him.  Be obedient right away.

Here are some ideas:  ask Him if this is what He wants you to say, or post, or share.  Is it edifying?  Will it reflect well on the person?  On me?  You aren’t responsible for others actions, only yourself.  We don’t have to like someone, but neither should we bash someone.  This idea that we just say what we think, is not wise.  What stirs us up, changes our thinking.  Let’s stir ourselves up for the Lord with good things, good thinking, and ask Him to help let His love shine through more than your own agenda.  Discipline…it takes a boat load of it.  However, the blessings easily overflow that boat if we empty it first of ourselves.  Just like in the photo of the gingerbread person at the top of the post, I have to be willing to let the Designer prune off what is around me that needs to come off, so that, you can see the creation that is meant to be.

I felt the sting of these words myself too so I don’t say them lightly.  It is my prayer that I see more of His glory in my living because I allowed Him into the dark places to do a little excavating in my inner self.  It is a healthy path and one that God certainly rewards.  I hope this encourages you to be more aware of God in the room than before you read this.  I know it has changed me.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

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What’s In A Word?

Words

Today in my quiet time, I was thinking and praying about my word for this year…watchful.  I went to the dictionary and here are a few things it had to say about watchful:

Observe, close observation, keeping guard, time on duty, vigil, watchman, keep awake, be cautious, and contemplate.

Wow!  That is a mouthful of the same word!  But when I started going through the list, it is a lesson onto itself!  So let’s look at these words because they apply to your life daily, and to mine.

Let’s start with observe and close observation.  To observe is to sit back and watch over all that which is going on.  Something may catch your eye, or you see a behavior, a mannerism, something you like or dislike, and you are pretty relaxed as you sit and observe what is going on around you.  Now close observation, that means you are zeroing in on something.  You look for movement, changes, expressions, things that tell you more about what you are observing.  You are taking a specific interest in something or someone.  What if we really did that every day?  What would we notice and “move on” if we thought about this more as we went about our day?

What about Vigil?  We think of prayer vigils, but that word means that we are on it; maybe even 24/7 for a period of time.  We don’t leave until our appointed time.  We observe closely what is going on while we are there.  For me, vigils will always include prayer.  I want to see what I am supposed to be seeing and pray for what God wants to give me.  It is my responsibility to open up to God so that He can place within my heart, that which He desires for me to see and be a part of.  It is constant.  I’m on alert.

Keeping guard is like the watchman.  I have talked before about being a watchman on the wall.  But, again, we have to learn what we are watching for.  We have to ask God to show us what we are watching for.  Why do we watch?  So we can discern the enemy or The Messenger and know which is which.

Keeping awake is something some of us would rather not do.  I have had weeks since myIMG_5249 surgery of not sleeping at night.  I don’t think there is anything more frustrating than wanting to sleep and can’t!  But in this case, we are to “keep awake”.  Why?  We don’t want anything sneaking up on us.  We are to keep awake and pray.  We want to stay awake with God.  Give Him our fears and concerns and worries.  It may involve a period of waiting.

Cautious is another definition.  Cautious is once again knowing what is for me and what is against me.  How do I know THAT?  We can ask God for discernment and He will give it to us.  When we have a close relationship with Him, we more easily recognize God at work, when God speaks, and what He would have us to do.  But we need to be cautious of many things such as, what we watch, how we speak, our example to others, and what we listen too and what or who we spend time with.  It’s easy to get off track.  It may sound good, tickles your fancy a bit, and its easy, but it may not be biblically correct.  Be cautious.

Contemplate is one that closely resembles your quiet time.  It’s a time when you are quiet and you listen.  it’s hard for us to be quiet sometimes but that is a good skill to improve upon.  When we are quiet or reading God’s Word, we contemplate its meaning to us, and what would God have us to do with what we learn?  Use it in our everyday lives of course.  Take time to contemplate where you are and where you are going.  Think and review.  How does it apply?  What truth is in it for me?  Remember when your parents got on you about something you might have done wrong?  They would tell you to go to your room and think about it?  Sounded dumb to me when I was young because I could go to my room and do anything I wanted then.  But did I?  I might have done some things, but usually in the middle of the “things” I was thinking about what they said.  We are to be contemplative.

Lastly is time on duty.  Now this is where the rubber meets the road!  How much time do I give to being watchful, or observing, or using my awake time?  It’s how much time we give God.  Do we live out our daily lives as God would live?  I don’t think this means “duty”.  It means how much time I give in my day to things of the Lord.  Each of us has something we are to do here on earth.  Spend time on duty seeking what He has for you to do.

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So here we are in a new year and I would challenge you to think through these words that mean watch/watchful.  I know it’s MY word for the year, but I think we can all benefit from having these thoughts in the forefront of our thinking.  Don’t get over whelmed, just ask God to give you the watchful eye to see what He sees and to act on what He wants for you to act on.

I’m excited to see what it brings into my life.  I know when God moves to help others, it ends up blessing me more!  You will begin to see what you haven’t noticed before and it the process, your life will also be changed.  Want a good book on this subject of noticing?  Read The Noticer by Andy Andrews.  You will never be the same!  I hope this chat time will give you the boost you need to start!

Walking the journey with you…