In 2008 I had this dream:
I went to the bank with a friend. I went to the teller and requested to withdraw $4.00. She handed me a note that said, “Because your breath stinks, I will not be able to make a withdrawal”, then she shut the window. I was embarrassed and offended. I told my friend what happened. I went back to the window ready to go off. A different girl was at the window and I was going to explain myself to her until the original girl rudely jumped in front of her. I began to explain to her that I am having some work done on my mouth that’s why it smells this way. She came from behind the window and I began to build her up. I told her that the Lord blessed her with a bold spirit. I was encouraging her. After that we were cool. She went back to the window and gave me the $4.00.
Weird dream right? Let me quickly explain. You know the saying, "You can bank on it"? Well, the bank represents my security in God and all the benefits that come along with being a child of The King. Everything we need is in the Lord, salvation, gifting’s, healing, peace etc. The number 4 can represent God’s creation and humility. Money can represent power, provision or spiritual gifts from God such as our talents and callings. I wanted to make a withdrawal, which meant I was ready to start using my gifts for The Lord. The teller represented a messenger from God. The message on the note said my breath stunk which was the main point in the dream. God was saying I needed to be careful with the words that come out of my mouth. I need to think about what I say before saying it. Don’t offend with my words but speak life. I guess reading that my breath stunk was hard to hear because I got all offended and was ready to let the teller have it. I explained I was having work done on my mouth which meant I was working on those things. I basically acknowledged I needed to change in this area. Then something happened, my speech became complementary and encouraging to the teller. I began to build her up and make her feel good about herself. Right after that she gave me the $4. God released some gifts in me because I was willing to humble myself and make the necessary changes he pointed out to me.The Lord took me through a season of character development on my mouth. I continue to go through seasons of character development regarding different areas of my life. Character development is a lifetime process for all of us. Have you ever heard the saying “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there" John Wooden? Before we can do anything great for God we need to learn humility, virtue, love, and self-control. Our mouths play a huge role in how we represent God and how people respond to our witness for Christ. We can't just say and do whatever we want and call ourselves Christians. I saw a post on Face Book the other day that said, "One minute your posts are cussing folk out, the next minute you're quoting scriptures". Lol!! For real though, who is going to take us seriously when we do stuff like that? If we're not cussing someone out, then we're speaking negatively about ourselves or our situations. The words we speak can shape the outcome of our lives. "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat it's fruit" Proverbs 18:21. Our mouths were designed to be fruitful and speak life. "From the fruit of a man's mouth he enjoys good things" Proverbs 13:2. We have to be mindful of coarse joking, gossip, lying, slander, faithless talk and the list goes on. We also have to be conscious of situations that set us off and take our mouths places it has no business going. I'll be the first to say that I'm not perfect. I have not arrived. I am a work in progress, but I am quick to make changes when God checks me. Quick story:
Some years back while pregnant with my second child, I made a stop at McDonald's. One of my biggest pet peeves is poor customer service. I don't remember what the young lady did that set me off but I know it was customer service related. As she was walking away and talking to me, I said to her in a boisterous tone, "Shut your mouth! I don't care what you have to say! Just hurry up with my food so I can leave"! The poor girl started to cry. I'm glaring at her to make sure she's not playing floor hockey with my burger. I felt no remorse. Honestly, it felt like a weight was lifted, like I got something off my chest. She brings my food; I snatch it without saying thank you and pretty much skipped on out of McDonald's. As I'm walking along stuffing my face with salty fries, an elderly caucasian woman is approaching me. She was old, hunched over, wrinkles, the whole nine. She extended her arm, pointed at me and said, "I love your t-shirt". I'm thinking, what is this cute little old lady talking about? I look down to see what I was wearing and my t-shirt said, Woman of God 24:7. BOOM!! lol!! Really God? Did you just check me? (this was a shirt I created from my t-shirt business "Fruitful Lips") God used this elderly lady to remind me of who I was and how my attitude and speech did not reflect that a few minutes ago. Did I go back to apologize, no. But this incident has made me mindful of who I am and who I represent. Sometimes I do well and sometimes I don't. When I fail, I apologize, ask for God's forgiveness and keep it moving.
God allows us to go through times of testing which challenges us to grow in certain areas before he uses us to influence others for Christ. Maybe your breath doesn't stink. Could it be your attitude that stinks? Do you have stinkin' thinkin'? Is patience not a virtue for you? lol! Whatever it is, expect to be challenged in that area. How will you handle it? Experience is the best teacher right? You may fail a few times, but growth and maturity come when you recognize the issue and it no longer controls you.