“I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” – Psalm 9:1-2
What fills your speech? Is it thanksgiving, praise, gladness, and song? In other words, is your speech holy and pleasing to God and beneficial to others? Or might other words characterize your speech? Like complaints, gripes, moans, groans, and general all-purpose pity-parties?
All too often, complaining is our natural bent and where we find synchrony with others. Think about it: if the weather is bad, at least we can all gripe about it together. If you’re sick, you always have a ready topic of conversation. If your marriage is lousy, you can easily find people to commiserate with you (not necessarily help you – just commiserate with you!).
I recall a time when I was over a friend’s house, and the conversation lagged. And I actually thought to myself, “Oh no! What else can I complain about to get the conversation going again?” What a wake-up call! I realized that my friend and I had had nothing positive to say all evening. Ouch! Time to wash my mouth out with spiritual soap!
But we get into habits, and habits are hard to break. Negativity is a habit, and it is essential that we break it. The best way to break it is to follow David’s recipe above: “I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” Put simply, it’s hard to be negative when you’re full of positive praise!
* If you had to divide the content of your speech into percentages, how much of the time are you positive, and how much of the time are you negative?
* When you are negative, what are you negative about? Yourself? Other people? Circumstances?
* What practical steps can you take to fill your mind and speech with positive praise?