God sure has a funny sense of humor, doesn’t he? Over the course of the past few months, I have probably read every scripture there is to read about one’s speech, had multiple conversations with friends and mentors, and listened to what seems like an endless flow of sermons in my podcast list on the power of words.
My Father has been gently and consistently convicting me of my speech. Now, for those who know me know that I can be a bit blunt and sarcastic. Neither of these things is bad, but when either of them oversteps the bounds of what God has called a person to be then it is sinful and thus needs correction.
I think, like most Christians, I somehow think because the tongue is the most unruly member of the body (James 3:8) that God will find it in his heart to forgive my every flippant slip of the tongue and every deliberate judgmental word that flows from my lips, but God’s Word tells me this is just not the case. I will answer for every idle word (Matthew 12:36) and every judgmental jab (Matthew 7:1-5) that flows from my lips.
I must learn, like most, to let my speech be gracious (Colossians 4:6) and my words be saturated in wisdom (Proverbs 31:10). This is one of the most difficult things I’ve learned how to do. Why? Because it forces me to place my flesh under complete submission to God and allow the conviction of the Holy Spirit to cause me to change from the root of the problem, the heart. Scripture tells me that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45) and when I begin to let God affect my heart then my speech is affected.
Words of wisdom: Don’t let your actions…your words…your life become a stumbling block for those around you. Live in such a way that your life encourages them to be more like Jesus. Imitate Christ.
God knows I struggle in this area – and that I struggle a lot. The beauty of all of this truly lies in the fact that if I put my flesh under the authority of Christ daily (1 Corinthians 15:31), the Grace provided to me by my Savior is surely sufficient. I fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) on a day to day basis, but that is the beauty of Grace.
Grace meaning the perfected embodiment of forgiveness, mercy, and grace – my Savior.
Grace covered my shortcomings as a fleshly being in his blood on the cross and ultimately sees my heart and soul long to be more and more like him daily, and in turn, desire to be more like the Father. So, as I submit my flesh under the same authority that death, hell, and the grave answer to my flesh has no option but to bow AND submit.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. -Proverbs 18:2