What if I were to tell you how to be more peaceful, positive, kind, empathetic, non-judgemental, and Christlike? What would you be willing to do to be more like that? The craziness of the world is getting louder. We are being corrupted from inside and don’t often recognize it. It is time to take action! Make the most of your life for you and your family!
For many years I allowed gossip, criticism, complaining and negativity to take over my life. It was a gradual process but I let it slowly creep into my habits. One lady that I truly admire shared that she had discovered a book that her and her husband were using. It caught my attention… “The Forty-Day Word Fast” by Tim Cameron. I decided to give it a try! Tim Cameron encourages you to eliminate harsh judgments, criticism, sarcasm, negativity, complaining, and gossip from your life by taking a 40-day word fast from such things. I’d like to share how eliminating these things from my life has helped me change and be a better, kinder, more positive, and Christlike person. Let me share some things that I’ve learned from doing this challenge and hope it might motivate you to give it a try.
What are Toxic words? Toxic words are Satan’s way of pulling us away from God. He uses judgements, criticism, sarcasm, negativity, complaining, and gossip to draw us closer to him and away from the influence of God. These toxic words bring hurt, contention, sadness, misery, discord, feeling alone, and low self-esteem (just to name a few). Let me share some things that stuck at to me.
Judgements. Don’t judge others. You do not know WHY someone does what they do. What is their motivation, experience, reasoning, capability, etc? When you draw conclusions based on someone’s outward actions you are judging incorrectly. The world is so negative and wants us (even pushes us) to judge others. But Christ is the only one who can judge others fairly.
One key: Live to have the Holy Ghost with you. It will help you know how to treat others and to have discernment in knowing how to proceed and how to treat people the way Christ would, Ask WHAT are people doing not WHY.
SARCASM. Joking, teasing, insults, and being critical are the lowest form of humor. I grew up with lots of sarcasm in our home. I hated it. So many hurtful things are said in a “joking way”. That was one thing I had to stop when I was married and not living at home anymore. You can stop the sarcasm in your home.
Two keys: Compliment others generously about virtue and effort. The best gift is the gift of silence, hold your critical words and share love instead.
Negative words. This is such an easy trap to fall into. This includes negative thinking and living in the past. We live in a world of chronically negative, crictical, and hurtful words, It is so easy to do what we shouldn’t or not doing what we should because “everyone else is doing it”.
One key: Learn to speak the way they do in heaven. Our goal is to become more like Christ and to focus on Him. Think about how He would speak? What are the words of His language…compassion, kindness, encouragement, praise, worship, understanding, and love. As you focus on Him, you will find more positivity and joy fill your soul!
“When we complain, we blind ourselves to all the good things the Lord has accomplished in us and for us.”Tim Cameron
Complaining. There are never ending ways to complain. We can murmur, whine, and wallow in self-pity which will ultimately quench the Spirit, We cause “Emotional Pollution” as we pollute the air we breathe and affect our environment with all our complaining.
Gossip. This is a big one and oh so common in everyday speech. It was interesting how after I stopped gossiping, I saw people differently. I saw them the way the Lord sees them and it was life changing! I also noticed others gossiping and several times saw the person of topic overhear what was said. It made me so sad to see their reactions! I cringe now every time I hear people gossiping about someone else. Gossip has such negative, destructive effects that are so hard to reverse once they are said.
Two keys: Prayer and daily repentance were a huge blessing of added strength for me to stop the gossip habit. Those nightly pondering and self-evaluations really helped me remember all the hurtful things I said during the day and become more aware of what I was saying and who I was with when it happened.
Our words have power. Having done the 40-day word fast, my eyes were opened. It really took me 40 days to rid myself of lifelong bad habits. It changed the way I saw people. It is amazing as I let go of the hurt and negativity, I was able to see people the way God does. Seeing the impact of gossip on people was also eye opening. Recently, I watched a pretty young girl make a quick comment to an older lady about how pretty her hair color was and then she went on her way. What I saw after has really stayed with me. The older lady smiled so big and seemed to hold her head higher as she gently touched her hair. Our words really do have power for good or bad. What you say about and to others will impact you as well as them for years to come. How do you want to be remembered? Will you be the busybody or the loving friend?
As a mom, wife, employee, daughter, committee member, etc (whatever the hats you wear),we face challenges that can get the best of us. I have noticed that the habits of old, toxic words are sneaking back in to my vocabulary over time. When I start to slip into old habits, I have to recommit myself to speak positive, kind words and eliminate the toxic ones from my life. My husband and I have also begun The 40-day Fast for Couples. It has really helped us communicate better. What I have most noticed is that as I eliminate toxic words from my life I see that God is able to communicate with me more clearly through His spirit! That has brought me so much peace, hope, joy, and love into my life. I know that it can help you too!
*This post has a few affiliate links to the books on Amazon.*