Decisions, decisions. We make millions of them every day. What will I eat for breakfast? What will I wear? Do I want to exercise today? How will I respond to my husband and children? How will I approach this mountain of laundry? Some decisions are inconsequential, but others have the ability to alter the course of your life.
I find that the most important decisions are not the what decisions, but the how.
The Lent season is upon us and many have chosen different things that they want to give up to draw closer to the Lord. And, even in giving up things, I believe this is true: It is not what you give up, but how you respond. In Isaiah chapter 58, the prophet Isaiah relays a message from the Lord, letting the people know what He is looking for in a fast. He isn’t looking at what you are letting go of as much as what you are laying hold of instead.
Our church family is joining many others in doing a Negativity Fast or Positivity Feast over the Lenten season. (see www.ignitinghope.com) I believe this particular decision is one of those course altering decisions. My husband preached a sermon this week and the statement he used over and over again was, “You live in the world you create with your words.” Because we are made in the image of our Creator God, our words hold power to create. Our words can create calm and peace or stress and anxiety. They can create joy and they can create depression. Our thoughts and our words will determine the world we live in.
But, I believe it even goes beyond that. As women, I believe that we have been entrusted with the atmosphere of our homes. When we live in doubt, worry and fear, it creates a cloud over our family. Likewise, we have the ability to create an atmosphere of peace and joy that can spread to every member of our family. And all this is possible by changing how we think and thereby changing the words we speak. When we speak words of life to other people, we can help to shift the atmosphere over them as well. What an awesome responsibility to steward our words.
So it doesn’t matter what we have or don’t have or even what we choose to give up. What matters is how we live and how we respond. It is those things that can change the course of our lives.
Lord, today we ponder our words. How can they be a better extension of who we are in you? Show us your light in this area of our lives. Lead us to kindness, uplifting and encouraging words. Thank you for setting the model before us so we can follow the right path. Amen.