Years ago, when I was a police Field Training Officer (FTO), the first week having an inexperienced rookie riding with you in a squad car was an interesting experience, both for you as the FTO and for the trainee. Each night during that first week I would begin the shift by saying, “I intend on going home alive tonight and I won’t let you or the bad guys interrupt my plans.” I gave that nightly speech to my rookies because a few years prior my FTO spoke the same words to me.
One of the cardinal rules of survival that accompanied that admonition was, “Watch the hands!” Hands hold the weapons. Hands can strike you. Hands can try to take away your weapon and kill you. It was so drilled into me that to this day, thirty-five years later, when I enter a room I inventory where people have placed their hands. Translating this into our spiritual lives, I have learned that prior to entering into fellowship with someone it is wise take a moment and listen to their conversation. In other words, “Watch their mouth!”
The words we speak carry great power. They can kill. They can give life. They can create new realities. Watch the words of those you choose to align with in life and ministry. Take the time to find people who have learned how to speak as someone indwelled with God’s Spirit. Just as we learn a new foreign language there is a spiritual language we need to learn. Be wise in your selection of a spiritual language instructor.
The world is watching the mouth of the Church. If from our lips come words that sound no different than the world around us we will not survive to the end of our spiritual shift of duty. Someone or something will always die from the assault of a language that lacks life and hope. If you desire to grow in your relationship with God surround yourself with people who have chosen to watch their words. Once you learn how to speak the language of God’s Kingdom, the Lord will bring others for you to train up in the language of life and hope.