In thought, in word, and in deed.
I've been asked to speak to a group of women tomorrow night (yes, on Saturday night) on how we can be women of impact in our world. My response: in thought, in word, and in deed.
What do we think about? What is the nature of our thinking patterns? Do we tend to be positive and upbeat thinkers or critical and negative in our thoughts? Do our thoughts become prayers for greater love and mercy and perseverance in difficult situations or cries for justice and punishment for those who have done us wrong?
What do we talk about? Do we criticize and complain? Do we ask other people to join us in our carping and belittling of those with whom we disagree? Or are we known for kind and gentle answers rather than sarcastic, mean-spirited ones?
What about our patterns of behavior? Are we peacemakers or warmongers in our personal lives? Do we seek to find peaceful solutions to crises or are we ready to send in the bombers and think of a plan to rebuild and withdraw much later on? Are we known by our love or by our anger?
During the month of January, I spent a lot of time thinking and reading about solitude, silence, and prayer. Time away and alone, not a time of emptiness, but of fullness. Time to refrain from speech, not the icy silences that bring tension into our homes and lives, but the silence that communicates peace and love. Time to act with deliberate intention, not frantic and frenetic activities to keep us from having to be alone or be quiet.
As I've prepared for tomorrow night's talk, I've thought about solitude, silence, and prayer as the opposite of thoughts, words, and actions. Don't think, pray. Don't speak, be silent. Don't do anything, just sit there, in solitude, in quietness of spirit, and at peace.
How can I be a woman of impact in my family, in my church, in my city, and in my world? Through the deliberate decision to extend grace, to be a peacemaker, to restrain my tongue, to slow down and temper my thoughts, and to politely refuse to compare my full calendar to the full calendar of others.
How will I make a difference, be a woman of impact in this over-stimulated, noisy, crowd-controlled world? Through my solitude, my silence, and my prayers.
Naturally, I was reminded of several Scriptures that apply.
Psalm 19:14 - May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 46:10 - Be still and know that I am God.
Ephesians 4:29 - 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.
Philippians 4:8 - Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.
Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the God the Father through Him.