I did it again.
I used my words for death instead of life. The words that came spewing out of my mouth were bullets which not only wounded the one to whom they were directed, but also the other hearts within hearing.
So often the tongue is a whip and This. must. stop. How can I expect to teach Life into their hearts and minds if my words bring death? But what is it about words that kill? Where do these words come from? Is my heart and mind so black and depraved that God's light is far from me?
My mind is where the words form before they become. So it is my mind which needs the Spirit's control--not my tongue. And yet if my heart is not under the Holy Spirit's influence then my mind cannot be either.
Heart. Mind. Tongue. First one, then the other, until, finally, the tongue is bridled. My words are an indicator of the state of my heart. This is why the Lord calls us to have a undivided heart (Psalm 86:11) and for our minds to be renewed (Romans 12:1).
I need to wash everything by his word and by his grace. 'For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sward, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing is all creation is hid from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.' (Hebrews 4:12-13) So every thought that flitters through this mind, good or bad, must be held up to the standard of the Word. And I cannot pretend that I didn't just think 'that thought'. The One who sees all things really does 'see' all things--even those thoughts we wouldn't want anyone to see.
Yet, I am not left with this seemingly impossible struggle. Hebrews 4:14-16 goes on to say: 'therefore, (I love therefores!) since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.'
Can I get an amen?!
First, hold onto your faith. Do you believe Jesus is leading you, guiding you, helping you build your house? Then hold onto that faith! Don't waver. Don't sway. Hold on. Walk in faith. Secondly,
walk boldly up to that glorious throne of grace and lay it all there. Before those death words come pouring out, stop!, boldly go to the throne of grace and find the grace you need for the moment. It is there, waiting for you to receive. To receive grace and life-giving words. Words to encourage and teach. Words to speak life and love into hearts and minds.
When I rain word bullets down, I know that there is forgiveness and I also know there is grace. I have experienced days when my words brought life and when also they brought life. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my High Priest is waiting to intercede for me and to offer me grace.
For you, too.