13 Inspirational Faith Quotes for When You Are Discouraged

13 Inspirational Faith Quotes for When You Are Discouraged


Reading Time: 4 min 2 sec


Stories of inspirational faith can be used by God powerfully in the dark and dreary seasons of life.  Have you ever felt utterly discouraged? The I want to stay in my sweat pants, eating ice cream and binge-watching Hulu forever seasons?

You know, those times where nothing seems to be going right and you are out of answers.  Have you ever wondered where is God when you feel so miserable?


In times of great discouragement or disappointment, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The feelings of helplessness and discouragement can threaten to overwhelm you.  However, there is hope! God in his infinite wisdom did not design us to journey alone through life. We were meant to live in community with others.


One way we can do that is to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness even in the midst of unbeatable odds. It is these stories of faith that bolster our sagging spirits. Throughout the Bible, stories played a powerful role in the encouragement and instruction of future generations by proclaiming who God is and what he has done.


I see quotes as mini-stories of God’s power at work in the lives of men and women of faith. Today, I have compiled a list of my favorite quotes and scriptures specifically for discouraging seasons.  I would encourage you to use the exercise below to allow God to speak to you through their words of hope.


When we read articles with bullet points it can be extremely easy to want to speed through the article.  But I would challenge you to engage, by inviting God to speak to you through the words of godly men and women by reading slowly and reflectively.  Their inspirational faith can serve as a catalyst for our own spiritual growth if we can slow down long enough to listen.

Inspirational Faith Exercise:


a. Pray and invite God to speak to you through the quotes below.

b. Read through the quotes slowly and notice any phrase or quote that jumps out at you.

c. Bring that phrase or quote to the Lord in prayer. Ask him to speak to you through those words.

d. Read through the phrase or quote again slowly. Then sit in silence allowing elbow room for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. 

If this is your first time sitting in silence, I would highly recommend setting a timer for two-three minutes. It keeps you from constantly checking the time. 🙂

e. Close your time in prayer by thanking God for his presence.

f. Journal any thoughts, feelings or impressions you experienced during this exercise.


Here are 13 Inspirational Faith Quotes from great men and women of faith that if read reflectively can serve as a catalyst to a deeper walk with God even in times of discouragement.


13 Inspirational Faith Quotes

1. “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles it empties today of its strength.” Corrie Ten Boom

2. “If you want to get warm you move near the fire. If you want joy, peace, eternal life, you must get close to what has them.” C.S. Lewis

3. “O God, when my faith gets overladen with dust, blow it clean with the wind of your Spirit. When my habits of obedience get stiff and rusty, anoint them with the oil of your Spirit. Restore the enthusiasm of my first love for you.” Eugene H. Peterson


4. “When I trust deeply that today God is truly with me and holds me safe in a divine embrace, guiding every one of my steps I can let go of my anxious need to know how tomorrow will look, or what will happen next month or next year. I can be fully where I am and pay attention to the many signs of God’s love within me and around me.” Henri Nouwen


5. “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” Hebrews 11:1


6. “Let us come alive to the splendor that is all around us and see the beauty in ordinary things.”-Thomas Merton


7. “The ultimate freedom we have as human beings is the power to select what we will allow or require our minds to dwell upon.” Dallas Willard

8. “Hope is willing to leave unanswered questions unanswered and unknown futures unknown. Hope makes you see God’s guiding hand not only in the gentle and pleasant moments but also in the shadows of disappointment and darkness.” Henri Nouwen


9. “One way to define spiritual life is getting so tired and fed up with yourself you go on to something better, which is following Jesus.”-Eugene H. Peterson


10. God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.” Lamentations 3:24


11. “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” Corrie Ten Boom


12. “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” C.S. Lewis


13. “But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.” Luke 17:6



If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 


What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to pursuing a deep relationship with God?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

What To Do When Pain Smacks You In The Face

What To Do When Pain Smacks You In The Face


Reading Time: 5 min 44 sec


The pain hit like a sledgehammer, followed by the unmistakable realization that life would never be the same. I gulped back a sob and tried to breathe, my whole-body seizing, ready to crumble.  I shook my head in bewilderment, as thoughts of grief, flooded my mind. I gasped, “Everything was fine just a few moments ago. How could this happen?!”   


Pain is one of those unavoidable experiences that strike each of us with deadly accuracy. The loss of a loved one, the death of a relationship, or a dream, the end of a job, or even a cross country move can leave us reeling.


We stumble around in a fog, desperate for something that will stop the ache inside.  We believe that if we can just find our new normal, maybe this debilitating pain will stop, or at least not punch us in the gut when we least expect it.


We self-medicate by binge-watching tv, finding comfort in food, spending long hours at work, living at the gym, or filling our calendars so full, you have to schedule a time to use the bathroom.


God invites us into something different.


He asks us to journey with him as he transforms the pain in our lives with the renovation of our souls.


So, how do we work with the Holy Spirit when pain smacks us in the face?

1. Stop Running


2. You Can’t Do This Alone 



3. Rehearse God’s Faithfulness



4. Embrace Transformation



1. Stop Running 


I remember as a little kid arguing with my mom over the removal of a band-aid.  I was convinced that if she went slow and took it off bit by bit, it wouldn’t hurt nearly as bad as taking it off in one brutal swipe.


She tried to warn me, but I was determined, so I started to slooowly peel the band-aid off.  With my whole body tense, I squirmed, yelled and did everything in my power to fight against a quick removal.


That agonizing band-aid experience was the longest two minutes of my life. smile


Just like the band-aid removal, when presented with agonizing situations, our first urge is to do anything that might minimize the pain. We drown our sorrows in every distraction that presents itself. We try to outrun, to bury, or do just about anything but face our pain.


Pain is like a disease, when suppressed, it just eats away at our souls. It spreads throughout our lives leaving nothing uncovered. It affects the quality of our relationships, our jobs, and our relationship (or lack thereof) with God.


If you want to find hope, healing, and rest, you have to stop trying to submerge your pain in a carton of ice cream.


Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. C.S. Lewis


Attempting to conceal your pain only adds unnecessary grief and stress to your life. Taking the time to acknowledge your agony is the first step to healing.


Take a moment and ask yourself:

  • In what ways am I trying to bury unresolved pain in my life?



2.  You Can’t Do This On Your Own 


As American’s we are obsessed with the need to control. We try to control our bank accounts, our kid’s futures, our food, and our wardrobes. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


We celebrate independence as a virtue. The phrases, “He stood on his own two feet.” “He pulled himself up by his bootstraps” shout we don’t need anything or anyone. We can do it all on our own.


We take that cultural lie into our relationship with God.  “God helps those who help themselves” seems to be the common mantra of the American church. I’m willing to bet that some people would even think that’s an actual Bible verse.


And so, we press on, trying to control the pain and fix the situation, desperately trying to make our lives go back to normal.  We fumble around in the dark with our limited knowledge, trying to be the god (small g) in our own lives. We are so quick to assume that God wound the clock and then left us to get the job done.


But God is calling us to a different type of life. A life of freedom, peace and rest. A life where we don’t have to carry around a huge weight of expectations or operate under the constant threat of failure.


Matthew 11:30 says, “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.”


God in his infinite wisdom and love is encouraging us to surrender our need to try and control our world.


He is inviting us into a safe place, a place of vulnerability, a place of comfort, a place of lavish love. A place where you don’t have to have all the answers.


The weight of the world wasn’t designed to lay on your shoulders.


Like children who can play and move throughout their days in the comfort of their parent’s protection, God offers us that same benefit. We can go through our days, finding rest, and peace in the comfort of his wings.


Pause and ask yourself:

  • What do you think God feels (or thinks or is doing) in you as you experience this situation?



3. Rehearse God’s Faithfulness 

Let’s be honest, it can feel inconceivable to think about releasing control when you are going through a painful situation. In a time when we feel so helpless, we can jealously hoard any small measure of control that we have left.
One practical way to let go is to rehearse God’s faithfulness to ourselves. God promises time and time again to never leave or forsake us. His very name “Emmanuel” means God With Us. He wants to journey with you minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, in the painful and joyful moments of your life.


Prayer Activity: 

Time: 10-15 minutes


Pray and invite the Holy Spirit. Ask him to bring mind all the ways God has shown up in your life (large and small). Give the Holy Spirit elbow room to speak by sitting in silence.


Write down each moment or experience.


If you have a relatively new relationship with God it might be helpful to start reading through the Old Testament. Look for situations where God showed up for his people and write them down.


As you look over the list, share with God your thoughts and feelings. Praise him for his faithfulness to you. Ask him for the grace to surrender daily your pain to him.


The pain doesn’t go away, but it becomes easier to surrender when you have a tangible reminder of God’s proven track record in your life.



4. Embrace Transformation


So how do we embrace everything God has for us during our pain?


We have to understand that our lives are a daily (sometimes hourly) process of surrender.  Acknowledging our pain, surrendering and praising God is not a one-time deal. This is a lifelong process that takes patience and perseverance. And we cannot embark on this journey BY OURSELVES.


When we are in pain, we want to lick our wounds in isolation, believing the lie that no one has ever experienced what we are going through. However, God designed us to live in community with one another. To truly embrace health, healing, and transformation, amid pain, we need each other.


We serve a God who in large part is unseen. When we encounter the listening ear of another person that is God’s tangible touch of love in our lives.  He uses each of us to support, care and love one another; as his hands and feet in our communities.


Here are some ideas of ways you can find community in your local setting.

  • Church Services
  • Church Small Groups
  • Recovery Groups ( AA, Overeaters Anonymous, etc.)
  • Grief, Single Parent, or Divorce Support Groups
  • Accountability Groups




If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to pursuing God when you are in pain?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!      [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

How To Banish The Fear Of The Boring Christian

How To Banish The Fear Of The Boring Christian


Reading Time: 5 min 45 sec


I fell to my knees, my soul crying out for more than my controlled paper-thin Christianity. I hungered for the life of meaning and significance that King David and countless others in the Bible experienced. I started to cry out my desire to God but something had a stranglehold around my neck.


What if he actually answers my prayer?” I thought.  “What does a deep life with God actually look like?  What will I have to give up?  I’m not sure I want to give anything up. What will my friends think?… What if this God-life means I can’t have any fun anymore?


There are several things that can keep us from experiencing the transforming power of a WITH God life. Fear is one of the key culprits.  It can easily overwhelm us; the loss of control, fear of the unknown, fear of what others think, the fear of boredom. It can keep us in pinned down barely able to move.


I feel bad even thinking this, but let’s be real, what if life with God is actually lonely and BORING?  I don’t want that… Will I be stuck at home reading my Bible while my friends are all out having fun? This is too overwhelming,” I tell myself.  “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”


This war between the desire for more of God and the fear of the unknown can not only play havoc in our lives, but can keep us from living a life of joy and freedom.


So, what do you do when you are afraid to go deep with God because you are not sure you are willing to pay the cost? There are three things about God we need to understand in order to move forward in a relationship with him.


1. A Relational God


2. An Invitational God



3. A Conversational God



1. A Relational God 


The first thing we need to understand is that God is relational. He lives in relationship with  with the Son, and Holy Spirit.  God created us in his image and as such we were designed to live in relationship with him.

We can sometimes have this idea of God where he is distant, harsh, or demanding. Where he is always calling us to account and frankly, he can feel like a killjoy.


We forget that God, while to be respected, created us to live in a love relationship with him.  As a Father, he delights in spending time and giving good gifts to his kids.


In Matthew 7:8-11 it says, “If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So, don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?


When we limit him to a list of do’s and don’ts we are taking him out of the context of a loving relationship.


God showers us with unconditional love and acceptance just as we are today. Imagine living life under a waterfall of his never stopping, never giving up love. We don’t have to get cleaned up to walk in intimacy with God.  We can come to him with our doubts and fears and be met with love and acceptance. How freeing is that?


God demonstrates his love by being present to us every moment of every day. He is a master listener, totally engaged in our every word. He puts out his hand and invites us to spend time with him, to live life with him, while we fold laundry, participate in a 5k obstacle course, and play games with friends.


C.S. Lewis said, “God has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. You are as much alone with him as if you were the only being he had ever created.”


God takes delight and joy out of spending time with you. A life with God is built on the foundation of a love relationship. Every interaction with God, every nudge, every invitation, is God reaching out, loving, protecting and caring for his precious child, you.



2.  An Invitational God 


What’s amazing about pursuing a deep relationship with God is that he doesn’t push or pull you towards a life with him. What can be scary about pursuing God is the fear that our whole life will change overnight. But God isn’t a vicious dictator that forces you to do things you don’t want to do.


Have you ever visited someone’s house who was an excellent host? You walk in the door and they shower you with kindness.  They usher you to a comfortable chair, encourage you to put your feet up, offer you tea and some warm chocolate chip cookies.

As a guest, you don’t have to worry about making a meal, doing laundry, or running errands, you get to completely rest.  How does that experience make you feel?


God is like a gracious host who sees to your every need showering love on you through his words and actions.  He does not yell, demand or cajole. He graciously offers, again, and again. He demonstrates his overwhelming love for us by giving us a choice to say yes to him. Not just one time but countless times but every day.


He asks, “Will you trust me? Will set down your cell phone and be present to me right now? Will you fall in love with me?”


He doesn’t stop there but lovingly challenges us to a deeper experience of him. He wants us to experience the depths of his lavish love. He invites us to live a life of excitement and surrender. When you say “yes” to God you want to follow his leading.


Paul in Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.”


When we learn how to live a life of love we experience freedom and adventure far beyond our wildest dreams.


3. A Conversational God 

God is a talking God. He wants to spend time engaged in ongoing dialogue with YOU.  He wants to hear about your thoughts and feelings even if they are scary, overwhelming, and shameful. Nothing you can say fazes him, his love for you is not conditional on your performance.

There is nothing you can do to make him love you any more or any less than he loves you right now.

Prayer is the human response to the perpetual outpouring of love by which God lays siege to every soul.” Richard Foster


He encourages you to have an ongoing honest conversation with him. God knows you better than you know yourself. He knows your circumstances, relationships, your pain, and your joy.  He doesn’t just lay down the law and demand obedience he invites you to walk with him towards a life of freedom.


I would encourage you to stop right now and spend some time talking to him about your desires and your fears. 


1. Name the things that are keeping you from going for it in your relationship with God. It could be the fear of the unknown, the fear of failure or that you will feel isolated or bored.


2. Spend a couple of minutes in silence (some find it helpful to set an alarm on your phone for 2-3 minutes). Allow the Holy Spirit elbow room to speak to you by just sitting with God.


3. Finish by asking him for his grace, a deeper desire for more of him, courage, wisdom, and perseverance.


Do not underestimate the power of prayer. “In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after Him: to desire the things He desires, to love the things He Loves, to will the things He wills.” Richard Foster


We follow a God who is relational, conversational and always overflowing with grace. When fear threatens to stop us in our tracks we remember that we are not on this journey alone. We can stop, name our fears, and take them to God in prayer. As we live in daily surrender he is faithful to draw us into a deeper relationship with him.



If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

  What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to pursuing a deep relationship with God?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


How To Have Time With God When You Feel Awkward

How To Have Time With God When You Feel Awkward


Reading Time: 5 min 15 sec

I tiptoe through the house, and with a cup of steaming hot coffee in my hands, I pull out my Bible and sink down into the couch.  I bask in the feeling of accomplishment that I actually woke up before the sun, ready to spend some quality time with Jesus.  


I glance down at my Bible and instantly feel overwhelmed. Now what? My mind is filled with questions; Do I just start reading? Should I start with prayer? How long does my prayer need to be? Do I need to use a devotional in order for this to count? Should I try opening my Bible and point to a verse?


I know my pastor must have said something about how to meet with God, but nothing is coming to mind and a feeling of desperation comes over me. I stumble through a prayer, feeling foolish. Who knew that having devotions could feel like so much work? I know I’m supposed to spend time with Jesus. But this just feels plain awkward.  I’m at the point where l almost feel sorry for God.  


My bed starts to look really good as my eyes feel weighted down. I start feeling resistant to continuing to try and meet with God. I read a chapter or two from Matthew, mumble a quick prayer and close the Bible quickly. Whew! I feel relieved that I can cross that off my list today. 


A feeling of dread sweeps over me at the thought of having to go through the process again tomorrow.  There has to be a better way… What do you do when no one has ever taught you how to spend time with God?


Have you ever felt like this?  Don’t worry you are not alone. 


The goal as Christians is not to learn more about God (though that is super important), but to develop a deep love relationship with Jesus.  We start developing that relationship by meeting with him each day


There are many different ways and tools that you can use to meet with God. However, we are going to be specifically talking about three practical steps that you can take to experience God every day:


1. Learning To Be Present

2. The Power of God’s Word

3. Pausing To Reflect



1. Learning To Be Present


You are reading your Bible and suddenly you realize that you have been staring into space for the last five minutes thinking about how you need to pick up milk, deposit cash, and  write a thank you card to a friend.


Distractions are a great way to keep us from connecting with God. We will always have something (or a lot of things smile) that our minds want to fixate on.  


For the sake of clarity, God wants to hear about your thoughts, pain, triumphs, questions, and concerns, but if we are not careful, that can quickly become the extent of our relationship.


One way that I have used to be present with God is to realize that the way I come into a time with Jesus is important.


There are times  where I am almost bent over with the mental and emotional anxiety that I am lugging into my time with God.  It could be a never-ending to-do list, a conflict with a co-worker or friend, anxiety about finances, or frustration over past disappointments.  


If I’m not careful, I can quickly become distracted, and find that my thoughts drift over and fixate on my latest conundrum.  As we grow deeper in our relationship with him, our goal is to live in such a way where we are present with the one who is ever present with us. We can’t be with God  if we focused on trying to figure out to solve the latest crisis.  


One of the most helpful steps, that we can take when we meet with God, is to call out the elephants in the room! smile  We can do this by acknowledging our distractions before God and laying them down for a time, knowing that they will be there when we are done.


This can happen through a simple prayer:  


“God, I invite you into this time. My desire is to know you and experience a deep love relationship with you. I feel very distracted by…  I lay my distractions at your feet. I ask that you will help me be present with you during this time. I thank you for your grace and love, Amen.”  


As you find your thoughts drift (and they will) during your time with God, gently bring your thoughts back to him.  God is ever gracious and delights in your effort to hang out with him.



2.  The Power of God’s Word 


The Bible is all about God’s desire to have a love relationship with us.  The purpose of daily time with God is not about learning more about him, but actually learning to experience a relationship WITH him. How exciting and humbling that the God of the Universe desires to have a best friend relationship with us!


There is no substitution for time spent in God’s word. Books, devotionals, and bible studies are great and can be helpful but they cannot replace the transformative power of the Bible. We want to spend this time reading the Bible for transformation, not information.


We want to create elbow room to allow the Holy Spirit to transform our lives through the power of God’s word. One way we can do this is by reading slowly, reflectively and incorporating silence into our time with God.  


What I love about this approach to reading the Bible is that it forces you to slow down. Your purpose morphs from getting it done, to allow God’s word to transform your soul. This idea sounds deceptively simple until we find ourselves rushing to get through our time with God, in order to move on to other things.


In our accomplishment driven culture, we can so easily turn daily time with God into another thing to check off the to-do list.  We see this come into play with the many Read the Bible in a Year studies. We do need to know the Bible but not at the expense of a living, breathing relationship with God.   


3. Pausing To Reflect

It is important to stop and reflect on God’s transforming word. We want to soak in the truth of the Bible allowing it to run deep within us, transforming us from the inside out.  

We can do this by slowly reading the passage of scripture several times. I have found that Psalms, Proverbs or the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) are a good place to start.


1st Time) Read the entire passage.

2nd Time) Read slowly- Paying attention to new perspectives.

3rd Time) Read slowly- Ask God to highlight a word or phrase.

4th Time) Read slowly- Reflect on the word or phrases and ask the Father to speak to you.


Pray and tell God your thoughts. Ask what is the Lord inviting me into?  How can I respond?

You can incorporate times of silence, journaling or drawing to reflect upon your experience.


When you spend time with God: Invite His presence, lay down distractions, read the Bible slowly and reflectively, and spend time in prayer asking the Father to speak to you through his word.


If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 


 What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to spending time with God?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


How To Stop Destroying People With Your Words

How To Stop Destroying People With Your Words


Reading Time: 6 min 1 sec

Have you ever walked out of a situation wanting to kick yourself over your careless words? More often than I would like to admit, I leave a situation shaking my head, wondering where those words came from.  Why did I feel the need to shred that person to pieces behind their back? Why did I brag about my latest accomplishment? Why did I think it was okay to make a joke at some else’s expense?


We justify speaking carelessly, using phrases like, “I’m verbal processer,” or “I don’t want to say anything bad about this person but…”.  We use prayer requests as a weapon to eviscerate others while gaining support for our victim status and to satisfy our need for vindication.


We have these images of this picture-perfect Proverbs 31 woman who exemplifies the fruits of the spirit and we wonder HOW ON EARTH DOES SHE DO IT?  It seems like every time we decide not gossip or brag, we last about twelve hours before we blow it.


Is guarding your tongue unattainable? Can we actually live lives where our words are full of grace, wisdom, and life?   Where we can walk away from conversations full peace and without remorse?


Have you ever met those people who seem to glow with godliness? Where every word seems to radiate with God’s presence? My grandma is a person who gives me hope that reigning in my reckless tongue is possible for anyone.  She is a woman who speaks with wisdom, generosity, bringing peace and life into every conversation. You walk away encouraged, inspired, peaceful and hungry for more of God.


So, let’s talk practically about how we can love others well through our speech.

1. Interior Chaos

2. Words of Life

3. Helpful Tools



1. Interior Chaos 


Before we can talk about how, we need to talk about why. Why do we so often speak death over others instead of life?  It could be any number of reasons but some of them might be:


1. The need to make ourselves look good

2.The need to be considered valuable


3. The need to convince others that we are right


We are filled with this interior chaos because we don’t know or truly believe where our true identity is as children of God.


 “Chatter crowds out inward conversation with God.” -Jan Johnson


I experienced this myself a couple of years ago, while I was on a retreat, I was invited to participate in an exercise. From 9pm to 10am, we were to have a time of silence as a way to be present with God, with limited distractions.


I thought, “How hard could it be?” I never realized how much time I spend talking; trying to advocate for my desires, and trying to manage other people’s impressions of me.


The next morning was equally illuminating when I discovered that it is hard to have breakfast in a cafeteria in silence. We are programmed from infancy to exchange pleasantries. I wasn’t sure whether to acknowledge other people or totally ignore them. smile


It was awkward, humbling, and in a way, freeing.  I could sit there and just rest in God’s presence, stripped of my ability to manage others impressions or expectations of me.


I would encourage you to pause and reflect. Bring to mind a recent conversation where you walked away feeling remorse, where you were uncomfortable, or stirred up inside. Remember that God is with you in this moment. Talk to him about your answers to these questions:


1. Why did I say what I said?

2. Why was I so stirred by their comments?

3. Why do I care what others think of me?

4. Why do I feel the need to prove my worth to others?



2.  Words of Life   


My father always told me that the mouth always gets you into trouble, and boy is he (and the Bible) spot on.  I love the Message translation of Eph. 4:29 it says, “Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.”


We can all remember situations in our past where someone’s careless words devasted us. Can you imagine if we brought the idea that each word is a gift into every conversation?  Understanding that our words can bring death or life to others?  That our very way of speaking is an act of love to others?


When we are intentional in what we say, it cuts out the noise and allows us to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice.  He has a lot to say about the importance of guarding our tongues. I would encourage you to spend some time with these Biblical passages.


Invite God and ask him to speak to you.  Understand that he is with you in this moment.  Choose a passage and read it over slowly. Ask God to highlight a word or phrase. Then spend some time in conversation with God.


Proverbs 10:20, “The speech of a good person is worth waiting for; the blabber of the wicked is worthless.”


Proverbs 10:32, “The speech of a good person clears the air; the words of the wicked pollute it.”


Proverbs 12:6, “The words of the wicked kill; the speech of the upright saves.”


Proverbs 14:3, “Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile; wise speech evokes nothing but respect.


Matthew 5:33-37, “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.



3. Helpful Tools

So how do normal people walk this out in reality?  This is where spiritual practices and partnering with the Holy Spirit come into play.  Spiritual practices are not some magic formula, they are a way of actively participating in the Holy Spirit’s work in your life.  

As much as we would like God to miraculously give us life-giving speech (though it could happen) he most often uses our daily decisions to transform us into the image of Jesus.  Good intentions don’t form Christ-like qualities, the minute it gets hard we give up.


The beauty of spiritual practices is that they give us a practical structure to actively work with the Holy Spirit in the transformation of our souls.  We have to be intentional. An example of that would be to set reminders on our phones, to remind us to be present.


It can also be helpful to blow our cover to a spiritual friend. God designed us to grow in relationship with him, in community with others.  It can be encouraging and helpful to discuss how God has been moving in your life.


One caveat that we need to be aware of is the temptation to fall into spiritual pride.  Be mindful of your heart motives as you talk about Gods invitation to you to practice a specific discipline.


Shower yourself with God’s grace. This experience will be challenging, and at times discouraging. You will fail, again, and again, and again. And that’s okay.  Ask God for grace, and perseverance to get back up and try again today (never tomorrow).


If you are feeling drawn to submit your speech to God, then I would encourage you to pick one (maybe two) practice(s) to engage with at a time.

Spend some time in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to practical practices. Understanding that you are not committing to use these practices for the rest of your life, but for this season.

The goal is surrender, not perfection. Spiritual practices help us surrender our will to the moving of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  When we are intentional in what we say, it cuts out the noise and allows us to hear to God’s voice.    When choosing a practice, simple is best.


There is an amazing story about Dallas Willard, a famous theologian and professor who gives us a practical picture of surrendering his speech to God even when it hurts.

In one of his classes, a student challenged him with statements that were both offensive and incorrect. Dallas paused and told the class that that was a good place to end their discussion. Somebody asked Dallas afterward why he had not countered the students’ argument and put him in his place. “I’m practicing the discipline of not having to have the last word.”-John Orteberg


Here are some ideas that might help get your wheels turning:


1. Start your day with prayer surrendering your speech to God. Asking him for his grace when you blow it and perseverance to try again.

2. Practice not interrupting others.

3. Practice being present by truly listening to what others are saying.

4. Be Succinct in order to remove the clutter.

5. Post cards around the house with favorite memory verses or phrases. 

6. Try practicing the discipline of silence.

7. Take a note from Dallas and refuse to have the last word in a conversation.

8. Carry something tactile (a paperclip, hairband, small cross) in your pocket (or purse). Every time you place your hand in your pocket it let it serve as a reminder to surrender your speech to God.

9. Refuse to gossip.

10. In the evening, reflect back over your day. Ask God for his grace and forgiveness when you spoke out of turn. Celebrate the moments where you listened to the Holy Spirit and surrender your will.


Hopefully, these ideas will be a great jumping off place for your own practices. I pray that as you reflect over your motives, surrender to Jesus and actively work with the Holy Spirit that God will help you to love others well through your words.


If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families. 

What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to watching what you say to others ?   Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!   


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