The past few days I have been inundated by messages about words. This all began on Saturday night during a conversation about strip clubs. Yes, strip clubs. Someone challenged my worldly achievements, and I boldly proclaimed that I had in fact been to a strip club once. That is how far conversation devolved before I realized how unguarded my tongue has become, and what it says about the condition of my heart.
I was ashamed of myself the moment it left my mouth. I knew it was not something to be proud of, even if it is in the past. It discredits my testimony. It insults the holy spirit that lives inside of me.
The full impact of this continued to roll over me in waves as days passed. The following Monday morning at work, the first wave washed over me while I listened to a sermon by Trip Lee.
“Our words are like hammers. We can recklessly swing them around and break stuff. Or we can use them to carefully build stuff. How will you use your words this week?” Trip Lee, Importance of Words
God let me know without delay that I had been swinging my words around recklessly like a hammer, and I knew it was true. The conversation about strip clubs was not the beginning of it. There has been a trend in the carelessness of the words I used for months.
The next day I was greeted by Scripture of the Day in my email inbox:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
And then following that same day, while listening to a sermon by John MacArthur, I was reminded that the only time we impact the world is when we fearlessly, boldly speak the truth into the world. I had spoken a type of truth about myself, at least. I had revealed the condition of my heart in all its worldly sin.
“The only time the church has made any spiritual impact on the world is when the people of God have stood firmly and uncompromisingly and boldly for the truth. And proclaimed that truth right into the face of the world’s hostility.” John MacArthur, Why Biblical Christianity is Intolerant in an Age of “Tolerance”
Today, I read a post on Facebook that has been the most recent of God’s righteous waves to crash over me, in which a man stated it was time to begin a new adventure. He had made a commitment a year ago to speak to one person a day about the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But, while he had encountered many strangers this way, he had neglected the people in his own life. His new adventure involved diving into his community to speak about Jesus with his neighbors, his friends and family.
When was the last time I used my words to tell someone about what Jesus has done for me? I don’t even know.
Why is it easier for me to tell someone that I have gone to a strip club than it is to tell them that Jesus saved me, and all the many ways that he has saved me over and over again? Why is it easier than telling people that I am not worthy, but Jesus died for my sins anyway? Jesus died so that I could be forgiven for my sins. Jesus died so that I could be recreated, renewed, and sanctified. Every time I sin, I shun his loving sacrifice for me. But he loves me anyway.
It’s time to use words to build up and that will begin with using the word of God to renovate the condition of my own heart first. I know that this is another wave of God’s love that will lead to my recreation, renewal and sanctification. I thank God in Jesus’ name that He loves me so much that He has saved me yet again. I am not worthy.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
P.S. The way that God’s word and truth speaks at just the right moment when you need to hear it most is truly remarkable. It’s just one of the many ways I experience his evident, wonderful presence in my life. 🙂
Update: Today, as I listened to a sermon online by my pastor, I was reminded again about the importance of my words. “ I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37 God is faithful and I’m honored that I am worthy of conviction. Thank you!