We don’t ever determine to be consciously filterless with our mouths, right? But then–that moment comes–and we speak before thinking, leaving others bug-eyed and ourselves embarrassed. What’s the most shocking lack of filter you can remember displaying? What drove that moment…anger, exhaustion, fear, or insecurity? How are we to pursue holiness in our speech? Join me today as jump into our first week of our study on the power of our words.
Mentioned in Podcast
- Teach Them Diligently in Mobile
- Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit
- MomStrong International
- Firmly Planted the Bible study
- Becoming MomStrong
- Proverbs 18:4
- Romans 12:1-2
- Philippians 3:14
- Proverbs 16:16-20
- Proverbs 20:5
- Proverbs 18:21-23
- Ephesians 4:29-32
- Proverbs 15:4
- Proverbs 16:18
- Hosea 4
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St. John—welcome to the podcast! I am so glad that you joined me today. Today is Wednesday, May 8th. It’s the first day of our study Deep Waters. We’re going to be talking about the power of the tongue, you guys. Words have impact. And for the whole month of May, we’re going to be studying the impact of our words, and learning how we can become more like Christ and impact the world for the gospel. This is episode number 763.
Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So wow you guys, May 8th! What in the world is going on? I feel like the time is going by so fast. Today I leave for Mobile, Alabama. Jay and I, and my daughter Sierra, and Melissa—we will all be in Mobile for the Teach Them Diligently conference. We are so excited to be there. I love speaking for Teach Them Diligently. I know that they are doing an incredible work to bring families into right relationship with each other, and then with the Lord. And of course, a lot of the focus that we have, when we’re out on the road at conferences like this, is homeschooling. But you guys have heard me say many times that homeschooling is not the answer. Jesus is the answer. And really, that is my heart—is just to encourage you toward a right relationship with the Lord. So if you guys are anywhere near Mobile, Alabama—come on out! I’ll be the opening speaker on Thursday, May 9th. So come on out—you’re not going to want to miss that opening keynote. And I’m really excited about it.
So also, for goodness sake you guys—Mother’s Day is coming up, right around the corner, and I have been privileged to speak there for Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit. So I’ll be doing all three services there. We’re going to be talking about the power of parenting, and the power of shepherding, and what God has to say about this next generation. So whether you’re a mother, or you’ve got influence in life of a child, or you’re a shepherd—you’re shepherding your children in the role of a father—the Bible has a very very strong words about how important that is in the context of the spiritual battle that we find ourselves in. So I’m excited. If you’re anywhere near Kansas City, Missouri come—out I’ll be at Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit—one of my favorite churches on the planet—on Mother’s Day, May 12th.
All right. This is the first day, the first, well—the first recording for the MomStrong International study. Or study this month is called Deep Waters. And the reason it’s called Deep Waters, is actually taken right out of Proverbs. And if you haven’t studied this verse yet, you’re going to love this study this month.
Proverbs 18:4 says “The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream.” [NIV]
The Bible says that the words of the mouth are deep waters. How many of you guys have ever said something—you open your ,and before you could get your self-control back, words tumbled out that you were like, well that’s not going to fix things. Or your kids push you to the very breaking point, or someone says something to you on social media, or on Twitter, and you respond in a way that exposes your weaknesses rather than a dependence on the Holy Spirit.
And so for the whole month of May, we’re going to be talking about how important is that we monitor and measure the words of our mouth. And God says these words have eternal impact—and I know if you guys were aware of how important your words are—but like I said last week, the truth is that the words that you say will actually have a lasting impact on those people that are around you. The Bible says that fruit that’s grown on the tree of righteousness,the tree that that is growing inside of a heart of righteousness, is going to taste sweet and delicious.
The Bible says it will bring joy to those who receive it—and grown fruit on a tree of a heart that’s filled with unrighteousness and sin is gonna takes rotten and disease. And so this month at MomStrong International we’re going to ask the question—which tree resembles what’s in our heart? Are we growing that tree of righteousness? The Bible says in Psalm 1 blessed is the man who trust in the Lord that he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water. That’s where the name Firmly Planted comes from when my husband and I wrote Firmly Planted the Bible Study several years ago.
It came from that passage. We named the Homeschool Resource Center: Firmly Planted, because that’s really what we’re trying to do, right?—hopefully as Christians—is to become like that tree of righteousness that’s planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whether.
The Bible says the whatever that man or woman does, prospers. Why? Because they’re rooted in the in the rich deep soil of the Word of God. And so this month at MomStrong International were talking about what that tree, that we might have in our own heart, looks like. Which tree resembles what’s in your heart. By the way, if you haven’t joined us yet and MomStrong International— it’s not too late to do it. We do a new study every month and we’re at the very beginning of Deep Waters. And so, this is the first week that I’ll be talking about it.
Next week I’m going to pick up week two—and on and on it goes. A new study starts every Monday. It’s about $2.08. So for less than the price of a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop—you can be studying with us and allowing the Word of God to transform your heart and your mind. And so, that’s really what we’re doing as we study the power of the tongue this week. And the Bible teaches us that it’s dangerous for us to rely on our own hearts. The Bible teaches us in Jeremiah 7:9 that our hearts are deceitful and desperately sick. That’s a crowd shrinker. It’s a crowd shrinker right now but. But it’s right, right?
We have a natural tendency, as human beings living in a fallen world, as fallen human beings, to deposit worthless things into the banks of our hearts. And we need the Holy Spirit to show us the things that are not pure. And once those things are lit up for us, then we got to take steps to collect different things to deposit into our hearts. What we’re really trying to do is live out Romans 12:1-2 in the everyday, right?
And so, when we present our bodies as a living and Holy sacrifice, it’s pleasing, acceptable to God—then we can be renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit in our minds, and not be conformed to the patterns of this world. Right? So it’s a continual filtering process to see that what we put into our hearts is what God values, and what will teach us and train us in becoming more like Him every day. Now, i’m gonna step away from the study just for a minute because I want to point something out.
Those of you who are parenting your kids actively right now—you have a responsibility for what comes out of the mouth of your child. Did you know that? You have a responsibility for what your kids are saying, for who they’re saying it too. And we’ve been you know, Jay and I, for many years—shepherding seven children. And I had an incident about a couple of months ago with one of my kids and realized this child is saying things that are not, well—they’re not godly for one thing. But I sat down with my child and I said—listen, the Bible teaches us that out of an abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. And so if you notice that your child’s being disrespectful, disobedient, using language that is inappropriate, and you don’t do anything about it—what you’re really saying is, I’m not going to tend to the heart of my child. Because the Bible is teaching us that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
So we want to be very careful as parents not to ignore what’s going on. I have talked to many parents over the years, who when confronted with the sinful actions of their own children—make excuses for their children instead of dealing with it. And more often than not, parents, when we don’t do that—what we’re really doing is we’re setting ourselves up for a lot of trouble later. And so, I want to encourage you today to a place of encouraging and training your children. And that means that we correct our children. We train them in righteousness.
You know, in Becoming MomStrong, I wrote about a sisterhood of spies. I’m all about the sisterhood, right? And what I mean by that is—as parents, we can’t be everywhere but somebody’s parents can be. And so, when someone comes to you and says—Hey, I saw your child doing a, b, or c—can I just encourage you—don’t run away from that. Run into it, and say—really? show me where you saw that. Because what’s happening is, you’re getting an insight into something that your child is potentially doing that, without your correcting—because your friend can tell you what’s going on but they can’t correct your child necessarily, they certainly can’t do the corrective work that’s been given to you as a parent.
And that’s why we’re studying the Word, because what we want to do is become more like Jesus. It’s called a progressive sanctification. It’s kind of a big word and sanctification just means—I’m becoming more like Jesus, I hope to become more like Jesus. And so, we want to be asking ourselves—what are the things that occupy most of our time and most of our energy? What are the things that are occupying the hearts of your children, Mom and Dad? This is so on my heart right now—because if we don’t get this right, we’re going to continue to struggle in the generation that’s coming up because it is the job of parents to watch and see what kind of fruit is coming out in the lives of our children.
And so, if our hearts speak for us and we are regenerated when we call out to Jesus for salvation—in other words, God makes us new. He makes us new. Then, wouldn’t our words be perfect when that happens? Well the short answer is no. Right? And if you guys have been walking with Lord more than 10 minutes, then you know that it doesn’t work that way. So the long answer, and this is what we’re studying this month, is a beautiful outworking of the presence of Jesus in our everyday lives.
That’s what we want to see in our lives. That’s what I want to see in the lives of our kids. So the things that matter most to us—are the things that occupy most of our time, and most of our energy. And so, if those things that mattered most to us—and we know what they are by virtue of what we give our attention to—are the things of the world, then our speech is going to represent that and the fruit that we grow will have the smell of death like all things that are captive to sin. And so parents, that’s why I’m saying it’s so important for you to understand the Bible. When the Bible says—out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks—that’s what it’s talking about. It’s revealing an an inner problem, inner struggle, that we’re having with sin.
But on the other hand—if the things that occupy most of our time and energy are the things that God holds most important, then the Holy Spirit is evidenced by this producing of a fruit of the Spirit which is righteousness in our lives. And that’s when we get to experience His beauty.
So I’m going to ask you—what do rotten fruit and treasury deposits have to do with our words? Well, the Bible teaches us that our speech gives voice to the things that matter the most to us, so let’s go back for a second. The minute that we become saved, right?— you guys remember when you got saved. Jesus is what matters the most to us. And our journey of becoming more like Him, that progressive sanctification, starts at that point. And so this sanctification is what the Apostle Paul models for us when he said in Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
The upward call. He’s calling us higher. That’s why I’m always telling moms—listen, I’m tired of a generation of parents who sit around and talk about how they need a drink at the end of the day because life is just so hard. And we wallow in this motherhood—and instead of letting God use the position that we’re in as parents, and as teachers, and as disciples to call us up word in Christ Jesus—we do the sort of lateral tradeoff. Instead of saying—hey, how about follow me as I follow Christ, and I want to be more like Jesus so that my kids can be more like Jesus—instead of doing that, we traded off for this—hey, let’s stand around in a circle and sing Kumbaya and talk about how hard everything is but don’t actually do the hard work of becoming more like Jesus.
So for this week, we’re going to study what that looks like, this progressive sanctification, and in digging deeper, in the the study this week—you guys, download it. At MomStrongInternational.com, look for the Deep Water study. This is the very beginning of it. Because growing in maturity as believers involves not only becoming biblically literate, which we talk about all the time here at the podcast—but that in our literacy we don’t just listen, we act on the things that we see in Scripture.
And so, when we’re living life as believers—this progressive sanctification, this is becoming more and more like Jesus—by the way that’s why I named the book Becoming MomStrong. We’re becoming, hopefully, more and more like Jesus everyday as the Lord opens our eyes to sin issues in our lives as we lay them down, as we repent. The Greek word for repentance is manaiña. It means—I change my mind. A change of mind. It means I see that I’m going a direction that I don’t want to go and I change my mind and I go the other direction. It’s a dying to self, and it’s a decision to root out sin. And parents, this is going to take it back to your kids again—until your children reach that point, your job is to help them learn to die to themselves and to help them root out since a you see the sin. And if somebody else brings it to your attention rather than run away and try to defend your child say—thank you Jesus that I have just been notified I’m put on notice of a sin issue that I need to deal with as a parent—that’s our job.
Your job, mom and dad, is not to be friends to your kids. Your job is to shepherd and parent them. And that beautiful relationship of shepherding and parenting—ultimately turns into friendship, but don’t swap it out.
So anyone who’s ever spoken 50 words today knows that our flesh shows itself daily in the things that we say. So let’s take just a second and look to the Word of God for insight and instruction. Proverbs 15:4 says—a soothing tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it crushes the spirit. And in the first week of Defining Discernment, we read in Hosanna, right?— that the Lord said of His people that there was no faithfulness, no kindness, or knowledge of Him in the land. He said there is swearing, murder, stealing, adultery, my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge—and then God closes that thought with this phrase: so that people without understanding are ruined.
Parents, what an incredible reminder to us that if we fail to give our children understanding, the Bible teaches they will be ruined. So this week we’re gonna take a little bit of time and we’re gonna see how different life is when we pay attention to the Word of God. We pay attention to God’s Word. In Proverbs 16:18-24—well let’s read it really quickly. Proverbs 16:18-24—and then we’re going to compare it really quickly. This is what it says.
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver! The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. Proverbs 16:16-20 (NIV)
Man, the Bible is saying it actually matters. The Bible as he is teaching us that when we give attention to God—it brings goodness and blessing. Conversely, Hosanna said that no knowledge or a lack of knowledge a lack of understanding breeds boundless sin and evil. Boundless sin and evil. That’s what we’re learning right in verse 18 of Proverbs 16 Pride goes before what destruction. And a haughty spirit before a fall. Boy, this is something we’re dealing with in the culture right now—isn’t ,right? So when we read Proverbs 16:18—what is it that has to be present during the time of Hosea to bring about a separation from God? Well he says it’s pride and haughtiness. And haughtiness speaks of being high and lifted up. The opposite of that is of course humility, which you read in verse 19, and humility speaks of loneliness. And so how did the Israelites fare when they were caught in unbridled pride and haughtiness.
The Bible teaches this in Hosanna 4 that they were ruined and destroyed. They were ruined and destroyed. We want to teach our children, as we’re learning this ourselves—and you guys are going to love this study for KidStrong this month because we’re gonna help you teach your children the importance of their words. But the Bible teaches us that we have got to be looking to the Lord for our answers. And even as we look to the Lord, the Bible teaches us that He will meet us right where we are. Proverbs 18:4, which is the key verse for this whole studie, where we get the words Deep Waters. Proverbs 18:4—you should write that down. It tells us that the words of a man’s mouth are deep waters. Proverbs 20:5 says a plan in the heart of man is like deep water.
Have you guys ever swum just far enough out into the ocean that you’re treading water and you can’t touch the bottom? And you feel the vastness of it around you? Or maybe you’ve watched an episode of Planet Earth, and you’ve seen parts of the ocean that are so deep and dark. Well our words and our thoughts are interconnected, and the Bible is teaching us that those words, and those thoughts, are like deep water. You can get out there where your feet don’t touch anymore, but praise the Lord, you guys—we see a pathway of God’s grace, how He comes alongside us.
In versus 21 and 23, the Bible teaches us the tongue has the power of life and death. This is Proverbs 18—The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21-23 (NIV)
Wow, from the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled, with the harvest of their lips they’re satisfied. What is it that is that is coming out of your mouth, Mom, in those moments when you’re just so frustrated you think — I can’t, I’m actually going to lose my mind.?
Dad, what are the deposits that you’re making into the hearts of your children? Into the banks of your children’s heart? Is it a deposit that says—I love you, and I’m going to walk in right relationship with God. Or is a deposit that says—I’m not watching what I should be watching on television, I’m not listening to what I should be listening to on the radio, or on Spotify, or wherever it is.
Out of an abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. And parents, I’ve said this many times—and i’m gonna say it again. Teens listen up, this is important. We can’t pass on what we don’t possess. And so, if we want to be examples to the next generation—then it starts with us, it starts with that repentance, that change of mind. That desire to say—Lord, I want to be like you.
Because we don’t ever determine to be consciously filterless with the things that we say, right? But then a moment comes and we speak before we think. And sometimes we might leave somebody, you know, bug-eyed and looking at us, and we might be embarrassed. And the Bible’s teaching us that there is a way to avoid that. And so, last month we looked at Ephesians 4:29-32 which taught us how to discern, when and how to act. And so this month, we’re gonna tunnel down into verse 29—for just this launching pad, to address just exactly how we use our words. Ephesians 4:29 let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth.
Ouch, moment silence. This is just for me, you guys, just tune it out right now. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, Heidi St. John, but only such words as is good for your children and good for yourself and good for those people who are listening that you could build them up according to the need of the moment and so it would give grace to those who hear. It’s a tall order, you guys, let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth—and so, how do we evaluate our unwholesome? Anything that would get our mouths washed out with soap? That’s a good beginning. Girls, anything that the Holy Spirit is giving us a nudge about—bears looking into. Men, if you’re saying something in you, and your near spirit is just like—eh, I should probably knock that off. It’s probably the Lord.
And so, I could go on and on. This is a wonderful study. It’s going to be one of my favorite ones that we do here. I’m out of time for today, but I want to just encourage you—press in with us this month as we learn about Deep Waters, and how we can have our words become a blessing to those who hear. A blessing to our spouse, a blessing to our children, a blessing to God’s people—and then see the fruit that comes from righteous speech. You guys, it’s an amazing opportunity. Join us at MomStrongInternational.com—it’s not too late, you can log in and make a free Scripture Writing Challenge start writing God’s Word out with us.
I’m telling you what, it’s going to change your life. That’s what God’s Word does.
I want to thank you guys for listening today. This is an exciting time here at MomStrong International and we love to hear from you. If you haven’t left review for this podcast or if you haven’t it’s been a while. Log into iTunes leave a review. If you’ve never left a review for the books I’ve written at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Good Reads—please do that. It encourages us tremendously when you guys leave reviews.
And one more thing—I have a special guest, Abby Johnson of the movie Unplanned is going to be my guest this Friday at the podcast. So excited to have her here, and to hear what God’s doing in her life. You guys are not going to want to miss it. So I’ll see you back here on Friday, with my friend Abby Johnson.
Write to Heidi:
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682