May 15, 2019

Many of us have heard that the tongue has the power of life and death, yet far too often the use of our words reflects that we don’t actually believe this is true. Discipleship not only mandates fidelity and consistency in our actions, but even more so in what comes out of our mouths. When we gospel the truth to others, speaking healing words that build up and encourage, we are agents of Christ extending to others fruit from the Tree of Life. But when we spew unhealthy and negative words that only serve to overwhelm, injure, harm or depress, we are doing nothing but crushing hopes and unleashing hell’s power on earth – not Heaven’s. Evil, selfish, unhealthy words destroy. Wise words rescue. We have a choice and a responsibility as Christians regarding how we steward our words because our words are helping make disciples of Christ – or not. James chapter three gives a stern warning about taming the tongue and the Jewish Christians hearing his words would have understood the severity of his message. For them, misuses of speech were considered “lashon hara” – using speech other than how God intended it to be used was to deny God. The sin of lashon hara weighed equally with the sins of idolatry, sexual immorality and murder…sins that required a Jew to forfeit his/her life if they committed them. WOW! It’s that serious. As ambassadors representing Christ, we should rather die than be party to advancing the agenda of the kingdom of darkness! So, this week I challenge you to be keenly aware of the words you use to communicate with God and others. Use your words to pray offensively or defensively for the situations occurring in your life and the lives of those around you, not to complain and reinforce the lies of the Accuser. Use your words to encourage and affirm someone in their identity in Christ, not their identity based on their sin, habits, addictions or lifestyle. Use your words to gospel the Good News to the people you’re privileged to encounter. Speak truth to their depression, fear, loneliness, shame, pride, anger, hurt and unbelief. SPEAK LIFE because this is part of what it means to be a disciple of the One who is the Way, the Truth and the LIFE. Don’t let your religion be considered worthless because you refuse to control your tongue!

Laura Hess
The Well Bible Study Ministry