As a kid, I can remember kids saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Many of you reading this might remember this phrase as well. If only people as they progress into adulthood truly held this concept as a reality. People are hurt more by words than anything else in the world. You can cause more pain to someone with your words than anything else. The truth is, what we hear concerning our lives, unfortunately becomes truth for so many people. In other words, too many people accept what they hear others saying about them for truth. This is a terrible way to live. The exact opposite reaction would be to only care about what God thinks of you, not others. The scripture says:
Proverbs 18:21 (KJV)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
In this passage we can see that our words have the ability to create and sustain life, or create death. Everything we say has a the ability to enforce life and dictate positivity. This is true in regards to what we speak over ourselves or others. This is why it's so important that I am very careful about what I say to my children, or what I say around them. The same principle is applicable to adults as well. For example, if you constantly speak negativity over yourself and your life, it's no wonder why you struggle so much. You are speaking death and failure over yourself. The more you do it, the more you believe it. Of course the same is also true when you speak life! If you wake up every day, look in the mirror, and tell yourself how accomplished and blessed you are, you will walk in that life! If you speak it enough, you will start to really believe it as well! This is how prosperity reaches its peak in believers. Physical, Spiritual, or Financial prosperity. It has the ability to provide a life that's abundant in every area when we refuse to speak death and negativity over our loves or the lives of others!
This is why the Word of God says:
Proverbs 10:22 (KJV)
22 The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
The Blessing of the Lord, maketh rich!! You'll notice that it also says "and He addeth NO sorrow with it! The blessing of the Lord, started with a spoken word! Remember, everything we read in the Word of God was either spoken by God Himself or His son Jesus, or inspired by God and spoken through individuals through history. It all started with words actually being spoken! A prime example of course would be when God created the heavens and the earth in Genesis. God, physically spoke this world into existence! He did it with His words. Think about it this way.. You wouldn't be saved today unless someone spoke the message of salvation to you. You wouldn't realize that you have the ability to be healed unless someone told you how to get healed. Every word that is spoken is crucial for every believer in this world. This is why the Bible says that we will be known by our fruits. (Matthew 7.) The words we speak, often dictate the actions we perform as well.
You''ll notice this to be very true in new borns. They don't retaliate nearly as much when they cannot speak, because they haven't learned how to yet. Their lack of speech makes them truly innocent. Yet, the older they get, the more accountable they become for their actions, because they have developed their comprehension of life through speech and action. The same exact principle parallels in our relationships with God. When we first get saved, we often make mistakes with little to no repercussions spiritually because we are initializing our comprehension of the language and actions required by Gods Word for our lives. God is truly more graceful and patient with us after we initially get saved. But, after a while, God expects us to grow as children do, and start to change our speech and actions.
You would think that people who have been saved for any decent amount of time would realize this and start representing Christ through their speech. Yet, this isn't the case with most people who claim to be Christians. They want the title, the recognition, yet they refuse to change their speech and actions in life. I meet people like this all the time. They have no idea how much they are hurting themselves by staying immature in their relationship with God. the worst part is, in the process of hurting themselves and their personal growth, they are hurting others in the process. This is easily illustrated when a group of people who claim to be Christ like, go and protest some political nonsensical event, as if they are clinging on to being part of this world. The Bible says that as we become believers in Christ, we are to be in this world, but not of it. (Romans 22 & John 17)
In order for this world that's starving for real truth, we have be very careful with the words we use. Especially in public. The last thing we want to do is give Christ, a bad name and reputation by acting like a bunch of hypocritical heathens. This is why the Bible says:
Philippians 3:13-14(KJV)13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Here, the Apostle Paul shows us the importance of putting off the old habits of speech and sin, and pressing toward the mark (Christ) and the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Paul, understood that his speech was a direct reflection of who he was. That's why he wasn't ever afraid to speak the truth, even when people were offended by it. Speech, that is directed by God, can seem harsh, but necessary to maintain a verbal adoption of life and not death. This is why it's so important that we choose to speak life and not death over ourselves or others! Your words could be the very reason that someone gives up on Christianity. That's a hard reality to perceive, yet it's a reality nonetheless. We have to put away our old speech and habits and be the very best true verbal and physical reflections of God and His Word that we possibly can. You never know who might be listening or making a determination of faith based off what they hear you speak.
There are countless believers in this world that turn people away from God simply because they choose to speak death and doubt instead of life and abundance. There are even preachers all over the world today that teach more doubt and unbelief than faith on any given Sunday. This is a serious problem and we have to address it corporately as the Body of Christ if we are ever going to get ahead of this disaster. Even the difference in doctrine per denominational sectors is creating a division of Gods people, and it all started with speech. Someone spoke negatively about something they didn't want to accept as truth in Gods Word and used that death-speech as a excuse to create false doctrines to accommodate their own selfish needs for spiritual satisfaction. This is why the Bible says:
Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Paul is stressing the importance of not allowing anything come out of our mouthes, unless it's edifying to those who hear and receive it! This same principle has been taught since we were children, "if you don't have anything nice to say.." You'll notice that Paul says that our speech should minister grace unto the hearers. This is crucial. Even when we discipline with speech, grace exists when our discipline is based off the Word of God. Keep in mind that word grace translates to favor. This concept of grace surely isn't a pardon for sin or mistakes. Paul is stressing the importance of speaking life, as opposed to death and negativity to others and ourselves. Some people misinterpret correction and death in speech. This is simply because they haven't matured enough spiritually to distinguish the correlation from correction to life.
This week, I challenge each and everyone of you who are reading this to be very conscious of the words you speak. Be very conscious of your actions as well. You may be the reason someone decides to get saved and develop a relationship with Christ! Which of course would be a amazing blessing and compliment to your decision to exemplify Christ through your words and actions. Or, you could be the very reason that someone distances themselves from God, because of your example. The choice is yours. As for me and my family, we choose life and not death in our speech and actions! Let that be your choice as well! Until nest week.
~ Pastor Ian Potter
Reverend Ian Potter is a Spirit Filled Evangelist who preaches the Raw , Uncompromised , Gospel of Jesus Christ.