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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of October 2, 2006

Be a channel for God's blessings, not a reservoir.

Have you ever wondered why God may not be blessing you as much as you think he should? It could be because you've become a reservoir for God's blessings, rather than a channel.

If you're simply accumulating more and more rather than giving what has been given to you, then God probably won't bless you. However, if you give away the things that God gives you, then you become a channel through which his blessings flow. He blesses you so that you can bless others.

That's exactly what God promised to Abram: "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing" (Genesis 12:2). God promised to bless Abram so that he could be a blessing to others.

If you use what you have to bless others, then God will probably bless you with more (so that you can bless others even more). The Bible describes that principle using language of sowing and reaping: you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7-8).

Furthermore, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says, Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

These verses are a direct promise from God: If you will sow abundantly with a good (cheerful) attitude, then God will bless you. Why? So that you can bless others. Being a channel for God's blessings means passing them on to others.

This principle of sowing and reaping works in all areas of our life--not just money. You can bless others in ways that don't necessarily require money.

Decide to sow seeds of blessing aggressively, and you'll discover that God will provide a great abundance for you simply because you're a channel not a reservoir.

Use your words as building blocks not battering rams.

Every word you say will have an affect on others. Positive words will encourage and strengthen other people, but negative words will tear down and harm them. You must decide whether to speak positively or negatively. Please understand that speaking positively requires a deliberate decision, whereas speaking negatively comes easily—for it is human nature. Therefore, actively strive to speak positive and encouraging words to others.

It is no surprise that the Bible instructs us to say beneficial things about others: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen" (Ephesians 4:29). Furthermore, Colossians 4:6 says, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt ..." Speaking positive, uplifting words is extremely important. Indeed, Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."

In Psalm 19:14, David prays, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." David clearly knew the importance of words, and so he prayed that he would speak words that were pleasing to God.

We must deliberately choose to speak positive words; otherwise, we will instinctively complain and be negative—for that is human nature. Thus, it is no surprise that Ecclesiastes 5:2 tells us, "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few." Similarly, Proverbs 10:19 says, "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise." Usually when you "hold" your tongue, you'll catch yourself before you say nasty things about others and cut them down with your words.

Lastly, it is important to understand that whatever you say is a reflection of your heart attitude. Matthew 12:34 says, "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks" (also see Luke 6:45). In other words, your words are simply an overflow of what's in your heart. If you think poorly about others, you'll speak poorly about them. On the other hand, if you think positively about others, as the Bible instructs us to, then you'll speak positively about them.

Since words carry power, make a decision to use your words as building blocks not battering rams.