Never in the history of the world have words been so cheap, quick, irrevocable, and viral. Through cell phones and the Internet, we now have texting, e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In addition, we have radio, television, and printed media. Words are flying around in the atmosphere like never before. As of June 2010, 77.2 percent of all Americans use the Internet (267 million people). One quarter of the world’s population is online. Forty- one percent of all Americans actively maintain a profile page on Facebook, which generates one billion pieces of content every single day. U.S. awareness of Twitter has exploded from 5 percent in 2008 to 87 percent in 2010, and by now the figures are even greater. In 2010, more than 17 million Americans used Twitter and the average number of “tweets” per day in the United States alone was 15.5 million.
Obviously, there are good uses of all these forms of communication; however, there are many disturbing consequences, including online bullying that has led to teenage suicide, identity theft, child safety risk, pornography addiction, and ruined careers. Job applicants lose out because of Facebook accounts of bad behavior; workers send ill-advised e-mails before thinking. People have destroyed relationships by typing their most secret thoughts in e-mail and then pressing Send before realizing how revealing the message was. Owing to the information available today, personal privacy has all but vanished. Sadly, anyone can say anything about an individual— whether it is true or not—and it is out there floating around in cyberspace just waiting for someone to access the information.
People’s reputations have been destroyed by what others have said and yet their words held no truth at all. You might say that we have a “word explosion” going on, and we have yet to see what damage will be caused by it unless people learn the power of words and make a commitment to use them in a godly way.
This is an excerpt from CHANGE YOUR WORDS, CHANGE YOUR LIFE by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2012 by Joyce Meyer. Reprinted by permission of FaithWords. All rights reserved.
“Jesus came that our sins might be forgiven and we would be restored to an intimate relationship with God through Him. His free gift of forgiveness is beautiful and beyond comparison. What God gives us freely He expects us to also give freely to others. Because we have received God’s forgiveness we can forgive others who sin against us or harm us in any way.
If we don’t forgive we will be miserable and our soul will be poisoned with the malignancy of bitterness. I have learned that when I forgive someone who has hurt me I am actually doing myself a favor, and that knowledge makes it much easier for me to forgive quickly and completely. I would like to be able to say that I learned this principle early in my life and have not wasted precious time in unforgiveness, but I can’t. It has taken me decades to learn what I desire to share with you in this book.
Unfortunately, we won’t go through life and never get hurt, wounded, or offended. Experience tells us that life is filled with injustices. However, we can be free from the pain of these wounds by letting them go and trusting God to be our Vindicator and bring justice into our lives. The roots of unforgiveness are very dangerous. They grow deep below the surface and take hold deep within us. They are insidious because they convince us that because we have been wronged, someone must be punished and that we cannot and will not be happy until they are. We want to be paid back for the pain we have endured, but only God can pay us back, and He will if we trust Him and forgive our enemies as He has told us to do.
I am sure that many who read this book will begin with anger in their hearts. Someone has hurt them or life has disappointed them. My prayer is that their hearts will be opened to God and they will see the urgent importance of living free from any kind of bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, or offense.
I believe that we have opportunities every week to be offended and become angry, but proper knowledge of God’s will gives us the courage to move beyond anger and enjoy the life God has given us. Staying angry at someone who has hurt you is like taking poison hoping your enemy will die. Our unforgiveness hurts us more that it does anyone else. God never asks us to do anything unless it is going to ultimately be good for us, so we should trust Him and learn to freely forgive.
It is my prayer that as you read this book, you will learn that when you process anger in a healthy manner and when you forgive, the person you’re doing a favor for is yourself.”
Excerpted from DO YOURSELF A FAVOR . . . FORGIVE by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2012 by Joyce Meyer. Reprinted by permission of FaithWords. All rights reserved.
The main theme of this book is that although feelings can be very strong and demanding, we do not have to let them rule our lives. We can learn to manage our emotions rather than allowing them to manage us. This has been one of the most important biblical truths I have learned in my journey with God. It has also been one that has allowed me to consistently enjoy my life. If we have to wait to see how we feel before we know if we can enjoy the day, then we are giving feelings control over us. But thankfully we have free will and can make decisions that are not based on feelings. If we are willing to make right choices regardless of how we feel, God will always be faithful to give us the strength to do so.
Living the good life that God has made ready for us is based on our being obedient to His way of being and doing. He gives us the strength to do what is right, but we are the ones who must choose it…God won't do it for us. He helps us, but we must participate by choosing right over wrong. We can feel wrong and still choose to do what is right. Nobody can consistently enjoy life until they are willing to do that. For example, I may feel like shutting someone out of my life because they have hurt my feelings or treated me unfairly, but I can choose to pray for them and treat them as Jesus would while I am waiting for Him to vindicate me. If I act according to my feelings, I will do the wrong thing and forfeit peace and joy. But if I choose to do what God has instructed me to do in His Word, I will have God's reward in my life.
Feelings in and of themselves are neither good nor evil. They are just unstable and must be managed. They can be enjoyable and wonderful, but they can also make us miserable and drive us to make choices we eventually regret. Unbridled emotions might be compared to a small child who wants to have and do everything, but does not understand the danger some of those things present. The parent must control the child, or he will surely hurt himself and others. We must parent our emotions. We must train them to serve us so we don't become their slave.
If you are ready to master your emotions, this book is for you.
This is an excerpt from LIVING BEYOND YOUR FEELINGS by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2011 by Joyce Meyer. Reprinted by permission of FaithWords. All rights reserved.
In the fourth watch [between 3:00—6:00 a.m.] of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, It is a ghost! And they screamed out with fright. But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I AM! Stop being afraid!
As was true of the twelve disciples, you are full of capabilities, gifts, and talent. God’s enablement of His grace and presence is with you. So what are you doing with your life? Are you like the eleven disciples who stayed in the boat, or are you like Peter, who when Jesus was passing by said, “Lord, I want to walk on the water with You!” Do you have a vision for your life and want to do something greater than what you’re doing? Are you going to just sit in the boat and shake and quake and watch the rest of the world go by, or will you be one of those rare individuals who jump out of the boat and refuse to live afraid?
It’s up to you what you’re going to do with your life. Fear is always going to come against you. But listen to Jesus’ words: “Take courage! I AM! Stop being afraid.” It’s time to step out and do the thing you desire to do.
Lord, I praise You that You come to me and extend Your presence and Your helping hand. As was true of Peter, I want to be a water walker. Amen.
And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.
When I tell you to join Peter and get out of the boat, you may wonder what your boat is. Your boat may be a lot of different things. What is your place of comfort, safety, and ease? It could be a place of misery, but yet, somehow or other, you’ve gotten comfortable in your own misery—so comfortable that you wouldn’t do anything about it even if you could. You may have gotten addicted to dysfunction. The sad thing is that the most people yield to the fear and remain stuck in life.
Maybe your boat is somebody whose approval you crave, who rules all of your decisions and your life literally is just tied up in their life. If they approve of it, you do it, and if they don’t like it, you don’t. You may be so addicted to getting your approval from other people that you let everyone else run your life, and you’re too afraid to confront them and stand up to them. Are you going to sit in your miserable little boat for the rest of your life and be unhappy? Or are you ready to say, “I’ve had enough of this! I’d rather get out of here and drown than stay here longer.”
Lord, I need to see You and hear Your voice over and above the storms in my life. Help me to break free of anything that is holding me back from doing Your will. Amen.
Excerpted from The Confident Woman Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2011 by Joyce Meyer. Reprinted with permission of FaithWords, New York, NY. All rights reserved.
One of my favorite sayings is, "Where the mind goes, the man follows." I wholeheartedly believe our thoughts lead us, charting the course for our lives and pointing us in certain directions that ultimately determine our destinations in life. Our thoughts cause us to have certain attitudes and perspectives; they affect our relationships; they determine how productive we will be personally and professionally; and they greatly influence the overall quality of our lives. We absolutely must understand the power of thoughts!
For instance, if you begin to think about starting your own business, getting a college degree, improving your health, or eliminating your debt—and you are really serious about it, which means that you firmly set your mind in that direction—you will eventually do it. Your goals may change as time goes by. Or perhaps life, as it so often does, will twist and turn along the way, putting you in a place you never expected to be and creating new options that you hadn't even considered. A good example of this can be seen in the life of a friend of mine. Several years ago, she decided to move across the country even though that would mean leaving a career of many years and starting over. She gave notice at her job, and in a thriving real estate market she put her house up for sale and started making plans for the move. Who would have expected that a sudden major real estate slump would leave her with a house that wasn't worth the balance of her mortgage? With too little savings to sell at a large loss and make up the difference, she stayed din her home and found another job that was below the level of her old one. As a result of working for her new employer, two years later she met the man who would become her husband. Although her initial goal wasn't realized, she would tell you with great assurance that deciding to move was the best decision she ever made—even though she still lives where she did all those years ago. Had she not taken the steps she did, she is sure she never would have met her husband.
I firmly believe that each thing we do in life gives us experience for the next thing we will do and that our thoughtful planning is perfected by God as we place our trust in Him.
Success in every aspect of life begins with a thought; so does failure. If you think you cannot do or attain something, chances are you will not be able to. Your mind has that much influence in your life.
This is an excerpt from “POWER THOUGHTS: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Reprinted by permission from FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
It was Saturday afternoon in St. Louis, Missouri, during our 2007 annual autumn women’s convention, and we were on a brief lunch break preceding the final session of the conference. This is one of the most significant events that our ministry sponsors. It is attended by thousands of women from all over the world, and it requires a tremendous amount of hard work, creativity, and preparation. The three-day conference begins on Thursday evening, and by the Saturday lunch break, I’m usually mentally, physically, and emotionally tired. This particular event seems to take a lot out of me for several reasons. By the last session, I feel a great deal of responsibility to be sure that the conference ends in a way that leaves our attendees energized and very glad they came.
We had enjoyed a small lunch, and I was gathering all of my strength getting ready to go to the platform and bring the conference to a fantastic finish. Dave and I were leaving the lunchroom when I saw a plate of chocolate chip cookies I had passed by when I was selecting my lunch from the buffet. As I saw them this time I thought, “I really want (need) a little piece of one of those cookies.” I stopped at the table and broke off about one-third of one of the cookies and ate it. As we proceeded to the platform Dave said, “Did you just eat part of that cookie?” His tone of voice was accusing and right away I got defensive. I felt like saying, “Chill out . . . it is just a piece of cookie!”
You might wonder why Dave cared about one-third of a cookie. We had recently signed up at a workout facility nine months prior to the convention. We worked out three days a week and had committed to a special eating plan that was rather strict. Four days a week we ate mostly protein and vegetables. The fifth day was called a “free day” because we got to eat one meal consisting of anything we wanted to eat. Usually on that day we ate pasta and/or dessert. We were free to eat whatever we wanted during that one meal as long as we got right back on our eating plan the next day. Our free day for that week was the following day, and Dave had challenged me because I had eaten the piece of cookie on the wrong day.
In his own words, he was only trying to help me. But I didn’t want help or advice. I wanted the cookie! I was tired, I had come a long way in the conference, and I needed something to get me to the finish line. I didn’t care what it was, but it needed to be fun, pretty, or sweet. And the cookie happened to be the first thing I saw that fit that description. Being a man, Dave does not understand things like that. He is very logical and in his mind, it simply wasn’t the right day to eat the cookie.
This is an excerpt from “EAT THE COOKIE BUY THE SHOES: Giving Yourself Permission to Lighten Up” by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2010 by Joyce Meyer. Reprinted by permission of FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Understanding the Power of Every Word You Speak
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