by Brandy Webb
I usually have songs going through my head. They can be anywhere from classic rock to some stanza in a classical song to Christian music. My favorite is when I'm thinking about something and a song that seems to pertain to the situation pops into my head.
Here lately I have been thinking about the fact that we can't control many things that happen to us in our lives, however, we can control how we react to it. We have all been given the freedom of choice. We can choose to act like a fool or act wisely. We can choose to fight hate with love or fight hate with hate. We can choose to act better than our critics or act just like them by attacking them the same way they attack us. The point is, we do have control over our thoughts, actions, attitudes, words, in other words, our character.
Well, during these thoughts two songs popped into my head, Joy by King & Country and Speak Life by Toby Mac. The songs may different, however, both are about things that we can control. Their points are that despite what is going on around us we can choose joy, and we can choose to use words that bring life to the hearers.
The two songs may not seem like they have a common theme, but can you speak words that are uplifting, life-giving, hopeful without choosing to be joyful? I know that it may be hard to choose joy in struggling times, but when we do, we are giving a pleasing sacrifice to God, a sacrifice of thanksgiving (Psalms 107:22). Plus, isn't it easier to be joyful when we are speaking uplifting words that are life-giving. Remember, "[d]eath and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit" (Proverbs 18:21). I don't know about you, but I don't like eating rotten fruit.
I know that what I am writing may sound very obvious and elementary. However, how well are we doing when it comes to choosing joy and speaking words of life? Or how about this question: how well are your thoughts falling into these characteristics especially when 'speaking' to yourself?
The truth is, our thoughts, words, actions, etc… can take a hard toll on our faith and wellness of mind, and our Father and Messiah know this, which is why they tell us how to live in the word:
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. (John 16:33)
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24)
We all have freedom of choice. We can choose joy and words of life or not. For the sake of being lights in this world, let’s choose wisely.