On Friday, I talked about the power of proclamation, and today I am reminded that this power goes both ways. I hinted at that when I quoted Derek Prince’s observations on the Middle East, but the Lord is showing me the effects of proclamation on a much more intricate – and personal – scale.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it
[for death or life].
Prov. 18:21 AMP
I recently returned home from the grocery store and realized that I forgot something that I really needed. Almost reflexively, I hissed at myself, “Idiot!” In that moment, I believed with perfect conviction that I was a very stupid woman. In point of fact, I was not. Forgetting an item is not actually a causal indicator of intelligence – or its lack. So there I was, cursing myself, darkly proclaiming, over my own brain, a lie. I proclaimed that I was an idiot! Now, I have a dramatic bent, I freely admit that. But I submit to you that it is NOT an exaggeration to term my reflexive response a dark proclamation.
As humans age, we tend to become measurably duller in neural reactions, situational recall, and response time. I wonder today if that’s as much the product of decades of accumulated cursing – aka, dark proclamations – as any natural biological decay of the brain. After all, some people retain the mental acuity of their youth, while others do not. Is it so impossible to believe that some people do not curse themselves into insensibility, while others do?
The more God shows me, the less I know—and this is a perfect example of that. Growing up, I always thought that God’s commandments were for the sake of goodness alone. I thought that we weren’t supposed to curse because bad people cursed and good people didn’t, that sort of thing. It was a very shallow and childish accusation made by a shallow, rebellious child, who resented that she couldn’t do whatever she wanted with impunity. That rebellious accusation is probably why I often find myself saying to God, “Oh, is that why You said that?!” Maybe God tells us not to curse – ourselves or anybody or anything else – precisely because the laws of the universe He created really DO react to those curses.
“It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man,
but what proceeds out of the mouth,
this defiles the man.”
Matthew 15:11 NASB
God is not some Mad Hatter who rules with an arbitrary and insane whimsy. He is purposeful and observant and detailed and loving. When He says, “Do not,“ there is a reason. It’s not because He wants me to suffer, and it’s not because He views me as a dancing monkey. That I look at God with squinty-eyed suspicion says everything about ME, not Him.
For today, I will take Him at His precious Word and tremble at what it tells me.
I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account
for every careless word they speak.
Matthew 12:36 HCSB