When I was in highschool, one of my classmates opened up to me and said: “Nicole. You know what? You’ve changed – in a good way. I don’t know if you still remember this, but when we were in the 4th grade, you used to tease me because I was chubby. But now, you’re so nice to people, including me, and I really appreciate it.”
At that time, I really couldn’t believe what she just shared to me. I honestly couldn’t remember bullying others verbally before, but by God’s grace, He changed my heart through the years and restored my friendship with my classmate. I told her that the change happened because of my desire to honor God in my relationship with Him. After she shared, I also asked for her forgiveness. I even remember getting teary-eyed while hugging her that day.
“Words can build you up. Words can break you down… Start a fire in your heart or put it out.” –Hawk Nelson
It’s truly amazing how our words can instantly strengthen or discourage the people around us. This is one of the aspects in my life that I really need to improve on. But despite my past mistakes, my careless words and weaknesses, it’s encouraging to be reminded of God’s grace and the new opportunities He gives me to honor Him with my words and heart.
Also, God has been faithful in teaching me to tame my tongue by guarding my heart. By His grace, the more I spend time reading, memorizing, studying His word and soaking my heart in it, the more I am able to honor Him with my mouth and encourage others too.
Matthew 12:34 says: “…Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”
A few days ago, I tried making Fortune cookies again and instead of putting fortunes in them, I placed some of God’s promises (from the Bible) that are close to my heart. After making them, I shared them to my family and we all broke our cookies and read the promises. God graciously uses moments like this to encourage my heart to dwell more on His word (even while I’m in the kitchen baking treats).
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
It doesn’t matter if we read and study one verse or one chapter per day. God looks at our hearts when we spend time with Him and He graciously speaks to us through His word wherever, whenever.
“God, Your voice is the only thing we need to hear.” –Hawk Nelson in “Words”
It is my prayer that I would grow more in my walk with God this year. God says in His word that nothing is impossible with Him. So, I believe with all my heart that I can improve in this aspect and honor Him with the heart and mouth that He has given me.
If you want to make fortune cookies too, you can try this recipe. :)
NOTE: Making the fortune cookies wasn’t easy. In fact, after baking and folding all of the cookies, you’ll probably have sore fingertips (especially if you don’t use gloves or other things to cover your fingers while folding them). But, the experience is exciting because you’ll only have a few seconds to put the strip of paper on the HOT cookie, fold it in half, fold it again with the help of a mug, and let it rest/ harden in a cupcake pan.
Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)