Friday, March 2
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
Once we have experienced the heart change of the new birth as articulated by Jesus (John 3:7) and emphasized by Paul, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
(2 Corinthians 5:17), we then begin the lifelong journey to become like Jesus (the theological term is Sanctification). Our life attitudes and actions begin to change as we allow God's Holy Spirit to change us.
Arguably, the most difficult thing to change is our tongue. Proverbs 18:21 above emphasizes how the things we say can have great effect on those around us, especially those closest to us. I remember as a new Christian, I was excited to read and study God's Word and to come to the assemblies of God's people to worship and fellowship. Even though I was immersed in all of this, from time to time without thinking (especially at work) I would blurt out vulgarities or respond to people with sharp hurtful comments.
Almost the entirety of James chapter three perfectly describes the problem we all have with our tongues. Verse six says “the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity .... that which defiles the entire body.” Just knowing that the things we say and how we say them can “defile the entire body” should be an incentive to diligently pray and seek God's face to strengthen and help us overcome that natural tendency.
Speaking about the tongue, James says, “With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.” (James 3:9-10) Truly, death and life are in the power of the tongue. We should be especially mindful of the things we say and how we say them. We, by our words, can draw people to Jesus (life) or drive them away (death).
Pray that God’s Holy Spirit would strengthen you and keep you from defiling your walk and witness by what you say and how you say it.
- Pastor Glen