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Hello, God. It's me, Mara.

Wisdom in your words

You know, Lord, some of us were chatting about our life when we were kids. One friend shared that when she was about 4 years old, her mom's friend stopped by to visit. She said, "Even at my young age, I was chatty. That is, until Mom's friend turned to me and said, 'You have diarrhea of the mouth.'

"She might have said it with a smile on her face, as I don't think she really meant to insult me, but her words felt like a gut punch - even way back then. I thought to myself, 'I guess grow-ups want me to keep quiet.'

"You know, looking back at that moment now, there is no mistaking the lasting impact it had on me. For many years after that, I held back on things I normally would have said. In some ways that was a good thing. But it really set me back, too.

"Fortunately, the Lord helped me find my voice again and I've spent a good part of my adult life speaking to people. But it could have turned out differently.

"The book of Proverbs repeatedly says that there is power in our words. Be wise in how you speak to others - especially when you are speaking to your children. Comments you make in a moment of frustration or anger can leave deep scars that last for years. Use your words to build your children up, never to tear them down.

"I remember how our mom, when she had to correct us, would follow up with something we had done that was good, or she might give us some helpful, life-giving information. We need to be genuine and honest with our encourage words. I liked how Mom would share Philippians 4:8: 'What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me - practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.'"

Love, Mara


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