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A New Toothbrush

May 13 Pic7

Cleaning Up the Words of Your Mouth

“Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.
—Ephesians 5:25–26

Some people just naturally enjoy waking up early, but I’m not one of those people. I’m just not a morning person. My energy level actually increases around midnight! So it could be challenging for me to say anything positive before I get out of bed, especially words of praise and thanksgiving. I’d prefer to say, “Oh, it’s morning. I will not rejoice and be glad in it.” But I have learned the value of speaking the right kind of words throughout the day, beginning with when I first get up. So even before my feet hit the floor, I start saying Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I do that because a lot can happen between the time you sit up in bed and when your feet hit the floor!

One day I was planning to go on a trip out of town for a speaking engagement. When I started to get up out of bed that morning, I didn’t realize that for some reason my foot was asleep. So when I put that foot on the ground, it wouldn’t hold me up, and I collapsed on the floor with all of my weight on my ankle! I immediately thought that I’d broken my ankle.

The pain was so excruciating that my husband had to pick me up off the floor and carry me because I couldn’t walk. He drove me to the doctor, and by the time we got there my ankle was badly swollen. After the doctor examined me, his diagnosis was that I had severely twisted my ankle, tearing all the ligaments in it—and that it would never again be as small as it used to be.

As I sat there gripped with pain, it wasn’t easy to say, “My ankle will go down, it will be the same size as the other, and I won’t have to buy two sizes of shoes.” But I said it by faith and went throughout the rest of my day in the strength of the Lord. And no matter how much my ankle hurt, I kept declaring by faith, “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

The swelling in my ankle did go down eventually, and that ankle is now the same size as my other ankle. It went down because I know the power of speaking the right words—God’s words! Our words form our world. Speaking the wrong words is like carrying around an old toothbrush in an old, wrinkled handbag. That toothbrush represents our mouth and the words that come out of our mouth.

Out With the Old

Any dental hygienist will tell you that you’re supposed to change your toothbrush every so often. An old, worn-out toothbrush probably won’t clean anything!

That old toothbrush represents how we can be so consumed with the negative words that have been coming out of our mouths that we don’t even realize our mouths need to be cleaned up! Words of disappointment, words of “I can’t make it,” “I’m so tired,” “I’m so stressed out,” “I don’t have enough”—all the negative words we’ve spoken—are affecting our lives in the wrong way. Is it time you cleaned up your mouth?

Having a good day doesn’t just happen. I believe it begins with the words we speak. Words can devastate or edify; they can build up or tear down. Words can motivate us to accomplish an impossible task or cause us to give up in despair. We must be so careful what we say, because we are snared by the words of our mouths (Prov. 6:2)! How important are the words we speak? I believe that if I hadn’t learned to speak positive, faith-filled words each day, I would have had a very different outcome with my ankle.

We speak many words each day, but how often do we really pay attention to the words themselves? It’s very important to realize that we are creating our world by the words we speak.

Right now, take a moment and reflect upon the kind of words you have been allowing yourself to speak. Are they negative or positive words? Are they uplifting words or words of criticism? If things aren’t going well for you and you have wondered why, you may find as you read on that you have created your situation by your own words and you need to put a watch over your lips. The good news is that you can change your world by changing your words!

A Clean Mouth—A Clean Heart

According to the Bible, what comes out of our mouths “comes forth from the heart” (Matt. 15:18). This is what the Apostle Paul was referring to in Ephesians 5:26—“the washing of water by the word.” Physical water only cleanses our outward bodies. It takes the Word of God to cleanse our hearts and the words of our mouths.

You must be diligent to spend time daily meditating on the Word. As you do, it will become so much a part of you that it will be stronger in you than anything else. And you will choose to believe the Word rather than what you see, hear, or feel.

Perhaps the doctor has given you a gloomy report. You don’t have to fear; instead, you can quote Psalm 118:17: “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” If you are going through tough circumstances, look to Isaiah 43:2 for strength and say: “When I pass through these waters, God will be with me; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow me: when I walk through the fire, I shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon me.”

Once you build up your trust in the Lord, fear can no longer dominate you. That’s what meditating on and speaking the Word does—it builds up your faith and trust in God.


Faith in Action

Speak Positive Words

Speaking faith-filled words will help you make it through the circumstances of your life. Begin now by simply refusing to focus on your circumstances. Grab the Lord’s hand and say, “Father, You said in Your Word that You would never leave me or forsake me. You promised to always be with me. I take Your hand by faith, and I expect You to lead me to victory!” (See Heb. 13:5;
Ps. 73:23–24; 1 Cor. 15:57.)