Have you taken a moment lately to examine the “what is coming out of your mouth” barometre? When it comes to family, I hope you can honestly say that we are using encouraging, thoughtful, kind, pure speech. As parents we want to be influencers and motivators and lead our families down this path. One way the barometre dives is when we lack praise. Yes praise. Therefore, my challenge this week is to raise the level of motivation and enthusiasm in our homes by using a simple tool – praise.
There is always something praiseworthy and something to be thankful about. However, we are often so focused on what we do personally that we forget to notice what others are doing around us. Therefore, let’s begin by thinking about what’s coming out of our mouths. Jesus said this, “…..the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” Wow, what a challenge! Defiled means “damage the purity or appearance of; mar or spoil”. God desires for us to live pure and holy lives, and to be honest, I struggle to do that without Him in control of my life. I often fall into that habit of the great Aussie put down. When I take time to examine more deeply I realise that if I fill myself up with something that’s not honourable, then that is what will eventually come out of my mouth. For example, as I listen to the news it appears to be 90% doom and gloom. Therefore, I only ever seem to be sharing what I hear – doom and gloom. Yet if I was to spend more time in the Bible and listening to great music that inspires praise, love, courage and hope, I will be inspired to speak the same way.
James chapter two, verse three talks about the tongue and how powerful it is saying it can build up and it can tear down. Well, I think it’s time to turn this little weapon around and let’s begin using it to motivate those around us for good. Before the challenges begin can I suggest we ask God to help us and allow Him to begin controlling our thoughts and our tongues?
- Say a positive word of affirmation to a family member.
- Then do the same to all family members. Examples are: “I appreciate …….”. “Thanks for …….” “You are so important to our family”.
- Say something positive to those we spend time with. Examples are: “What a great perspective.” “What a good idea.” “You are so…”
- Say something positive or affirm those we bump into during the day. Examples are: “How is your day?” “Thanks for all you are doing and for your help.”
If you accept this challenge you will see that living a life of praise is worth living. It brings out the best in others and has this amazing effect of bringing out the best in you at the same time. I am convinced that God loves this and desires our households to be the best examples of praise on this earth!
May we continue to notice what others are doing, not take it for granted and give them some praise.
Try it and I guarantee it will fill your families love tank more than anything you could buy from the shops.
Pastor Rob Wolsley