“For fools speak foolishness and make evil plans. They practice ungodliness and spread false teachings about the Lord. They deprive the hungry of food and give no water to the thirsty.” Isaiah 32:6 (NLT)
Bible says, fools speak foolishness. If you and I have received Christ and are living for His glory, we definitely are not fools..anymore! You have made the wisest decision of your life, which is to live your life in surrender to Jesus. The challenge, however, is to make sure that our pattern of speech falls in line with what we believe and Who we follow.
Continuing with the previous post, where we discussed about the external aspects/things that influence our speech and conversations, this post will address patterns or behaviors of speech that are common, and how to overcome them.
Here are some of the patterns of speech, that are foolish according to God’s standards, an exclusive though not exhaustive list.
- Negative Patterns:
This is the most common pattern of talking. And there could be nothing more foolish and upsetting than this. This is when you find something wrong with EVERYTHING that comes your way!
God is faithful. God is good, always, and He has promised us a good future. (Jer 29:11) However, our pessimism assumes otherwise, and we continue confessing it’s going to be the exact opposite of ‘good’! God expects us to find good in people, while we keep peering and sneering at them. God looks at the earth and finds it full of His presence and glory, while our eyes don’t see beyond the oppression, destitution and bloodshed. It’s all in the perspective that we look from.
If you have been a born again, Bible believing, Spirit filled, Christ follower, you have lost your rights to speak or talk negative!
- Fearful Patterns:
Negative patterns of speech lead to a strange build up of fear. This fear, when not dealt with or confronted on time, comes out through words, which when indulged in, over time, takes a pattern of speaking.
We all have fears. It is one thing to have fear, and quite another to confess them day and night. We all get fearful thoughts, but making a lifestyle of breathing and talking fear is foolishness. The sad part is that what we fear the most, is what we speak of the most, and what we speak of the most is what will consequently come to pass in our lives! Hence the need to break away from fearful patterns of speech.
- Generational Patterns:
(Ah! This is going to upset some people.) Have you heard your spouse exclaim that you sound exactly like your mother/father? As much as you may not like him/her saying that to you, there might be some truth to it. We pick up a pattern of talking from our parents.
Hurt People Hurt! So if you were hurt with the way your parents treated you, there have been times when you have gone around hurting others in a similar fashion, without your knowledge. It’s good to imitate your parents, leaders and elders, but only till the point they resemble Jesus! Beyond that, you have to break off from every pattern of speech that comes down through generations.
- Consequential/Conditional Patterns:
Have you caught yourself commenting things similar to the ones below?
“If only I had gotten admission in the choicest college, I could have gotten that job”
“How I wish I was had gone to the US instead of being here. My marriage prospects would have been better”
“What if I hadn’t gone through that accident! I wouldn’t have lost time”
“All of this is happening to me because of the debts my father handed down to me”
Do you bind your situations and circumstances with your limitations? There are scores of time when you may be exercising logic and rationale with your ‘If only…’, ‘What if…’, ‘This is why…’, but in doing so, are you giving more importance to those limitations than acknowledging the truth that our God is greater and more powerful to overcome the constraints?
If you feel wronged by the conditions or consequences a challenge has brought, here are reminders from the Word that you may want to keep in mind:
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28, NLT)
“For I can do EVERYTHING through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13, NLT)
- Arrogant/Appeasing Patterns:
Point blank, it does not suit a child of God to talk rude or arrogant. That holds true despite the fact that the person you are speaking to, must have wronged or offended you. The other extreme is trying to appease everyone, giving in to everything and tolerating anything, in short, being a people pleaser. That isn’t healthy either.
Bible teaches us to speak the truth in love. (Eph 4:15) We need to be those who stick to the truth, but doing so in love.
If you are serious about responding to this post, dedicate a period of time to find out which of the above patterns are a routine to your tongue. The moment you identify your weakness, pat yourself on the back, the battle is 75% won!
Here are a few tips to help you avoid and consequently break those patterns.
1. Identify your pattern.
2. Share it with someone around you who can correct you.
3. Every time you go wrong, rectify yourself, even if in public.
4. Confess God’s promises over every fear, negativity, limitations you are patterned to talk about.
5. Develop new and Godly patterns of speech, to replace the old and unbiblical ways of talking.
Continuing with the list above, we would cover in detail topics like abusing lying, flirting etc in the upcoming posts. Do not miss subscribing to our blog here to receive the series Taming Your Tongue.