Your Tongue {The Power of Life or Death?}

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21
I have been thinking a lot about my words lately. I have been learning to let the words of others hold less power over me by responding with grace. And prayer. I really am being challenged within as I consider the impact of words and the motivation behind them in some recent situations. As I listen to others I am sometimes amazed at what their choice of  words actually reveal about what they believe despite what they are saying. God has used my own words to reveal the same of me. 
I want to share something with you, friends. 
I grew up in a home where words were not always gracious. 
Where cursing was common.
Where put downs, negativity and sarcasm were steadily portioned out as nourishment.
I was always inextricably drawn to words and their power.
It is not surprising that I took a pen to paper and scratched out poetry at a young age.
I would scribble song lyrics on paper because words intrigued me. 
I wanted to see them, study them, grab hold of them.
Many of the words I wrote were not beautiful.
They reflected the ugliness that was within and without.
But the One who made me planted within me, intricately, delicately 
a longing and love for wisdom, truth and words.
It is nothing less than perfection that the One who is The Living Word that became flesh 
drew me to Himself. 
In His time He drew out of me that which He planted from the beginning.
As I am sure you can understand, much weeding needed to be done. 
When He redeemed me, my words were witty at times.
Sometimes my words were well timed and even poignant.
I learned to use them to hide inadequacies and I also would wield them to cut someone right in two.
I realized that words, well used could do much…for good or evil.
Our God, the One whose own words begat life, 
wants to redeem our words.

He gives us opportunities daily to choose life or death with the words we choose to let loose.
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
Deuteronomy 30:19
Oswald Chambers said, “Sarcasm is the weapon of the weak man.”
I love my husband’s paraphrase, “Sarcasm is the devil’s pitchfork.” 
 I believe America has been blessed with a freedom that is grossly abused. 
The public tearing down and humiliation of others is glorified.
 I am not going to even mention the names of those who people exalt for the blunt,
 rude manner with which characterizes the words they speak. 
But, I think that it is getting harder to discern grace and truth for onlookers when 
Believers are laughing at the same sarcastic banter the unbelieving world is gorging themselves on. 
Somebody pass the salt, please.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, 
seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Colossians 4:6
Please do not misunderstand. I am not saying I have mastered all of this.
I am not saying I am sinless.
I am saying that I do struggle and so appreciate being with people who are real and honest about wanting their words to be God honoring, a reflection of His grace and truth, to believers and unbelievers alike!
I also think that we need to carefully think about the words that casually drop from our lips.
That we need to recognize Christ with us at all times, so that we can be sensitive and available 
to His Spirit to measure our words according to His will.

Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society’s own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender.
~A. W. Tozer

Would you consider leaving a comment in answer to one of the questions below? 
Have you ever come away from a group of Believers and felt afterwards “dirty” from 
the conversation even though you did not necessarily say anything negative or wrong?
Have you ever felt a familiarity but discomfort at the banter taking place in a Christian group? 
Have you ever been around others who you thought were trustworthy and discovered that they were an “unsafe” group to be around although they were Christians?
So the Word became human and made his home among us. 
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. 
And we have seen his glory, 
the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
John 1:14 (NLT)




Why My Bible Is My BFF

My Bible is my best friend. Does that sound crazy to you? I have had many friends in my life and I am grateful for each one, however I consider the Bible to be my “Best Friend Forever” or BFF in “tween” language. It has proven a faithful and trustworthy friend through every season of my life. When times are good, it is with me. When times are bad it stays beside me. When others betray, it remains true. The reason for this is, my Bible is alive (See Hebrews 4:12). It is not the words and works of men who are dead but the Living Word, the very breath of God. One of my very favorite (ok, I confess I have many)  passages in the Bible, is found in the book of John in Chapter 1, it reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and theWord was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1-4) It continues, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” and “For the  law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
My God is the Living Word who became a man, taking on a body to secure my eternal salvation. Amazing love indeed! He did it for Jew and Gentile alike. He did it for every culture, race and creed. (Acts 10:34-35) He planned it before time and secured it forever. He did it for me and He did it for you! It is as exciting to me now, maybe moreso, as it was in the beginning when I first began to grasp it. In one of my favorite books (Ok, I confess I love them all) of the bible, Colossians it says: “He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation. For by him all things were created…” (Read Colossians 1:15-20).
I don’t want to give you the impression it is one specific version or material item. This Word is not bound by paper, binding or translation. It cannot be. It supercedes all and does not itself comply to that which is temporal. It is holy, pure, timeless and unchanging. It contains truth, is truth and will always be truth. (Revelation 1:4-8)
My trustworthy friend has surpassed all other loves in my life and yet this love alone leads me to greater love and compassion for those around me. I recall a time of extreme trial on my bed in tears, unable to even open the book and instead laying my head upon it while the tears stained the pages. A faithful friend. I remember training a certain jewish client who had confessed to an affair and how, with my BFF in my hand, while working out in a gym, God led us both to the specific scriptures which were able to convict and birth right there at the moment. A merciful friend. I can still see myself staying up all night devouring scripture in my hunger for truth and enjoying joyful discoveries and satisfying fellowship. A wise friend. I’ve clutched it close and layed it aside, yet this friend is a firm foundation which can be fully relied on. A reliable friend. I can recall the time I opened my Bible to the book of Jeremiah and how the words jumped off the page and pierced my heart as I tried to figure out whose heart was “deceitful above all things & desperately wicked”, Boyfriend #1 or Boyfriend # 2 when I  finally realized the Word was speaking to ME about ME and calling me to intimacy with himself, alone. (Jeremiah 17:5-10) That took me a little bit of time to get. But the word did it’s work as I learned to study, trust and put my full confidence in that which was revealed in scripture…the WHO behind it all. Like all relationships there was a time of testing as I built the trust in this friend. There were times I did not want to hear what my BFF had to say, but eventually I learned that this friend was always loving and truthful. Unwavering. Flawless. Beautiful. This friend would never be satisfied to leave me alone, even when I turned my back. I rarely am without it. It serves to remind me of my purpose. Although I hide the Word in my heart (Psalm 119:11) I like to keep a “hard copy” with me in my purse, bag, office or car. You never know when you might need your BFF. Trust me, my friend often introduces me to new friends wherever I go. That’s what friends are for!
Happy 4th of July, friends and Keep digging beneath the surface!
For further Reading: Genesis esp. Ch.1) , John (esp. Ch. 1 & Ch. 14), Colossians Ch. 1-3 oh, may as well read the whole thing!), Revelation (esp. 19:13)

Journal from the 90’s.
Rev. 19:13, John 1:1, Genesis 1:1

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