A New Mouth
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
In the movie My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle is transformed from a poor flower peddler to an elegant lady of society – all because Professor Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering teach her how to speak “more genteel like.” But it doesn’t happen all at once. It takes months of lessons and constant practice until everyone is exhausted and their nerves are raw. Then suddenly, there’s a breakthrough and Eliza speaks her very first sentence, “The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.” Not exactly news of great import, but pronounced perfectly.
Everyone cheers. Eliza, Higgins, and Pickering sing and dance even though it’s the middle of the night. From that moment on, Eliza’s progress continues - so much so that when she’s introduced at the queen’s ball she’s thought to be royalty in disguise.
The same thing happens when we begin our new life in Christ. If we place ourselves in the Lord’s care our speech too will be transformed. Like Eliza, we'll have to practice, but the biggest changes will start from the inside, in our heart and mind. Jesus pointed out, “whatever is in your heart determines what you say” (Matt. 12:34, New Living). The more time we spend loving and thinking about the things of God, the more it affects the way we talk.
What are are our goals? The Bible is full of great verses (especially in Proverbs), but one of my favorite passages is Ephesians 4:29-30:
· Keep it wholesome. If it’s not pure, it’s not God-honoring.
· Speak what is helpful. So often we say things that are not helpful but boastful, complaining, discouraging, or just taking up air space.
· Build others up according to their needs. What a great distinction! God encourages us not only to build others up, but to pay attention to what they need to hear.
· Benefit those who listen. How much gossip we would avoid if we thought about who might overhear our conversation. Will our words bless, inspire, reveal truth, or challenge someone else listening in?
· Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. This is the best reason of all to watch what we say - God hears everything, and it hurts Him when we misuse the gift of speech.The more of God we take in, the more it affects what comes out - like pouring clean water into a glass of dirt and grime. It’s a gradual process. Plus we have to fight incoming sludge from other influences. But bit by bit the gunk inside will clear, and what is left is pure and healthful. In this, I fail so often, but my prayer is that more and more, my speech will reveal that Jesus is the King of my life. That I’m really royalty in disguise.
Baking Tip - Make Your Own Unleavened Bread: It’s Jewish tradition to clear all forms of yeast from the home in order to celebrate Passover. It was unleavened bread that Jesus broke with His disciples at the Last Supper just before His crucifixion. It’s a fun tradition to make Matzoh Bread the week before Easter to remember His sacrifice for us. I like to add olive oil, salt, and spices to make it tasty.
Matzoh Bread2 c whole-wheat flour
¾ c water
- Preheat oven to 500º.
- Flour hands and knead the dough lightly for 3 minutes. Divide into 6-8 balls, rolling them with floured hands. Place balls on greased cookie sheet. Press down or use a rolling pin to flatten to about 5 inches in diameter. Prick with a fork to prevent swelling.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
For crispy matzoh: leave in the oven until cool. Store in an airtight container.
Serve with soups and cheese spreads.