I started smoking when I was 9 years old and smoked for many years. I liked it! So, when I decided to stop, it was really difficult for me.
Every time I tried to quit, I'd last a few hours, and then I'd be running around, digging cigarette butts out of the trash or looking for cigarettes in my coat pockets—anywhere I could think to look for them!
I didn't have success until I got a revelation: I was burying myself in defeat with negative thoughts and words.
I had to stop talking myself out of my victory.
Thankfully, I finally realized that I was causing myself to fail through the negative things I was saying about myself. For a long time I would say, "I just know I could never quit smoking. And if I did, I'd probably gain a lot of weight."
But eventually God was able to get through to me and help me see that if I didn't change the way I was talking, I wouldn't change. Then, He began to put a desire in my heart to start speaking what I wanted, not what I had.
I started saying things like, "I can't stand to smoke! These things stink, and they're expensive. I don't smoke anymore!"
At first, I felt silly doing this because I would make these declarations while I was smoking. However, within about a week of changing my confession, I realized I now had the grace of God to quit smoking.
What I learned from this experience is I cannot rise above my own confession. And I discovered it takes three things to get the mouth under control: a lot of help from God, discipline and self-control.
God taught me to talk like He does.
Proverbs 18:21a (AMPC) says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." And Hebrews 4:14 says that Jesus is our great High Priest and we should "hold fast our confession [of faith in Him]."
The word "confession" means "to say the same thing as." As the High Priest of our confession, Jesus can only do what we're saying that agrees with His Word. So it's vital for us as Christians to learn how to speak the Word of God and not just say things based on our feelings or what other people have said about us.
Now, I believe we'll have greater success with this if we concentrate on what we should be doing with our mouth, rather than focusing on all the things we shouldn't say. It's self-defeating to go around saying things like, "I shouldn't do that; I'd better not do this."
I want to encourage you to really listen to yourself and locate yourself. Where's your heart? The Bible says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (see Luke 6:45, MEV). We need to stop saying, "Oh, I didn't mean that. I was just kidding." And we need to start being accountable for the words we speak.
The truth is, the things we say come from something that is formed in our heart. So you can determine where your heart is by listening to yourself. You can hear bitterness and jealousy, insecurity and unhappiness.
Think about how you talk when you're going through a hard time. Or when you don't get what you want. Remember that what you say reveals the real you!
Changing the way you talk will change your heart.
Do you need a change of heart? All of us do. We all have room to grow in our relationship with God. And the way to make progress is to speak His language. When you do, you'll:
—Bless everything you can possibly bless. The Bible says we have the power to bless or curse with the words of our mouth. (See James 3:8-10.)
—Be thankful and say so! (See Ps. 100:4.) Don't just think about how much you appreciate someone—tell them!
—Be an encourager. Make an effort to give someone an encouraging word every day.
—Tell the truth!
—Speak the Word of God. Recite and memorize verses that deal with things you want to change or overcome, such as anger, unforgiveness, insecurity and so on.
—Stop talking too much. Be quick to hear and slow to speak. (See James 1:19.)
God wants you to pray and ask Him to help you use your mouth to say the right things. When you do, it will change your life!
For more on this topic, order Joyce's four-teaching CD series Change Your Words, Change Your Life. You can also contact us to receive our free magazine, Enjoying Everyday Life, by calling 800-727-9673 or visiting joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Your Battles Belong to the Lord (FaithWords). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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