As we plan this big change and go through all that it entails, my biggest prayer is that I will respond correctly. I don't want to wallow in despair or self-pity and thus miss opportunities to minister to my daughter still at home or my husband. I want to encourage Alyssa from afar as she spreads her wings and learns to adjust to college life. I also want to spend more intentional discipling time with Hannah and more intentional relationship-building time with Jameel.
So my word for 2013 is RESPOND. Another aspect of this is my everyday words. Each word that we speak is a choice. I want to weigh my words carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully, so that they will edify their hearers. That means no words spoken in haste or anger, thinking before I speak, and intentionally (carrying over my word from last year) speaking words of encouragement to others.
You can tell a lot about a person's heart by the way they respond to both trials and blessings. Luke 6:45 says, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." The only way I will respond rightly is if my heart is in the right place, which means more time in the Word and in prayer. So my official verse for the year is Luke 6:45. However, I will also put the following verses on the back side of my bookmark as additional reminders:
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)
The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil. (Proverbs 15:28)
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:5-6)
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