The god you serve is reflected in how you speak.
Words have the power to create or destroy. We speak all day but rarely think about what you say. As Christians, it’s our job to steward the words that come out of our mouths.
Everything we need to know about God can be seen through Jesus. He is the Word of God: the authority, the creator. Are we going to build our lives on the words of Jesus or the words of the enemy?
- You are your words.
How does the fruit coming out of your mouth taste to the person who hears it?
- Speak for the good of others
Speak words of grace to help others.
- Think about what you say before you speak to others
Speak to carry other people’s loads instead of adding to them.
- Our words must be matched by our actions.
Actions are words come alive.
- Use the “yes and…” principle.
Talk is cheap. But is it? To many of us use our words without counting the cost?
In 1970s San Francisco, an unknown man walks from his home to the Golden gates bridge. His mission is simple: to jump. Passing person after person, tourist after tourist, business after business, the man climbs the bridges 4 foot safety railings. He jumps, falling 220 feet to his death.
During the course of the ensuing investigation, the mans psychiatrist, along with the assistant medical examiner, discovered a note on his bureau. It read:
I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles or talks to me on the way, i will not jump. (The New Yorker 2013)
A single stranger could have saved a life. Our lives, our smiles, and yes our words have power. Words can begin and end war, words can inspire, bring healing, they can hurt or reconcile relationships, words can terrorise or bring the Gospel of peace.
I believe our words are shaped by our thoughts, about ourselves, our context (history, experiences, feelings, culture) and for Christians I believe how we speak to others is also influence by our thoughts of God (full of wrath, anger, judgment, religious) of full of love and grace.
Ghandi “how can so many Christians be so unlike their Christ?”
(Q) How much time do we spend thinking about praying about the words we
use, how they shape our lives and others?
We speak all day but rarely think about what we say.
Os Guinness said “ when more and more of something is available it is less valuable.”
As Christians it is our job to steward the words we say, Ecc 5:2 Sol says let my words be few, we are supposed to think over and be careful with our words.
This is because conversation personalises and dignifies us, (think about that) lady at the well, the children around Jesus.
The richness of language is God’s way of giving us tools to resolve our human relationships and also to be vulnerable and honest with him and each other.
AJ Swoboda says “ words mean we are made in the likeness of God, words are an essential part of humanity, they help us avoid it resolve conflict but also to bless God, bless our neighbours, communicate our feelings, sing out praises and shout for joy.”
But where did it all start? The fist thing we hear God do is SPEAK. Gen 1:1 – 3 and God said, let there be light.
1. Power to create
Power to build and create, the result of a ward from God was all the light in the world that would ever be needed. And what comes with light? LIFE!!!!!!!
Ken Wystma “There was nothing, then there were words. then there was everything.”
But GOD continues speaking with the ‘let there be’s’ god creates the whole wide world with nothing more than His words. Words are creative
2. Less is more
Power in less words Eccl 5:2, we will give account for our words Matt 12:36, Slow to speak James 1:19
3. Words have the power to destroy
Proverbs 18:21 TPT  Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life. Words can also undermine all that God has done, they can build or tear down?
4. Words that liberate
and set free in Gods hands in the devils hands they tear down from creation the devil has wanted to use words to get his work done, this is where he does his finest work! Satan means, the accuser.
So just as God created the world with words the devil manipulates with words. Some of his first words where Satan pouncing on Eve in the form of a reconstructive quwestion. (GEN 3:1) did God really say that? And there starts the process of stealing, destroying, manipulating.
One writer comments on this saying “We moves from Gods words in the Garden being forgotten and replaced with Satan’s question.”
From hear human relationships start to breakdown, Adam blames eve and the breakdown in human relationships become more pronounced.
From this first example we can see that God intended for words to create, build, free and establish. However Satan uses words for the opposite, to divide, marginalise, and deconstruct. It seems that whatever God does with words Satan tries to undo, hence the name the father of LIES.
after sin they headed to the east of Eden then east to the land of nod, then further east to Bable, they wondered from what God had established, and from his presence. Then God invites with a word Abraham to the promised land. Where east!!!
Lesson - Listening to the words of the devil displaces humanity from the will of God! Posture of our lives effect the words that come out. Are we aware of the fathers heart when we speak.
We now knows the link with God and words, now through the lens of Jesus. Everything we need to know about God we see in Jesus. (With regards words)
In the beginning was God and the word was with God, .…Jesus is the word, he embodies all of the original words of Let there be… with him comes creation, fulfilment, light and life. So with that revelation I want my words to be flowing from the creator of them who has my and our best at heart.
Matt 7:24 – 27 Jesus says anyone who listens to my teaching (my words) and put them into practice. Will build on a solid foundation. Passion — listen aND Applies, unshakable foundation.
Are you going to build your life on the words of Jesus, or the word of the devil. “Words are tools to construct and build on, there are both wise ways and foolish ways to use tools.” (What will it be the original plan for words or the corrupt one?)
Key - we all build our lives on words. We either build on trustworthy, true words or we build our lives on words that are deceptive, lacking, or hollow. Our lives are built or broken by the words we believe, follow and speak.
Literally — We become our words, who’s words are you and will you listen to?? Overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimonies
To learn to talk to others the way Jesu did, we must learn to talk to God the way Jesus did. Jesus spent time with the father. He knew who he was before God.
Remember when god spoke the world into existence he spoke into silence. • God needs silence to have a canvas to create beauty on.
“Accurate speech about anything, and especially about God, is in fact a rhythm of silence and speech.” Ellen Davis
“Solitude is where we learn to hear from God. And through solitude we come to a healthier place, able to enter external conversations grounded and with abundance to give, rather than with an insatiable need to take.” Ken Wystma
The inputs significantly inform and steer the outputs. (Dominant culture?) 1st Attentive to Gods presence and voice.
As Dallas Willard pointed out “we will never walk like Jesus walked if we do not practice what he practiced, there is nothing sudden about Christ likeness.”
Be known for speaking truth
(CONTEXT, yes be yes, integrity) society says truth is an inconvenience. The language of our culture is lies and deceit.
What we find with the New Testament church is that’s truth telling was always done in community.
Webber said Peoples receptivity to truth is largely connected to clarity of love and long term commitment to them. Nobody wants truth shots at them from the outside with no personal commitment.
Jesus gave truth then gave himself. So the question is this, when you give truth are you willing to give yourself? Shared experience.
How can we engage in life giving speech?
(What’s habits are informing our speech?)
Move away from society givens and norms. Listen to other voices?
Wendell Berry said “it’s not from ourselves that we learn to be better than we are.”
From God, each other, what are we reading listening to?
The power of self talk
Use our words for good to bring up conversations about those in the margins.
Those that it’s not the in thing to talk about it for?
Dorothy Day once said , “we must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it.”
Start each day asking Holy Spirit to guide your words. To yourself and others
Put your device down long enough to engage in conversations. (Make an effort in these days especially when out)
Technology has increased our communication capacity, but has decreased our attentiveness and ability to communicate with people in arms reach.
E. O. Eldon “we are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.”
• Create conversational space, learn to ask questions, learn to listen and pay attention. With your whole body
One writer said “embodied speech is the highest form of communication”. (Put the phones down)
When we learn another’s story and background we are more apt to understand and relate to that person.
Be curious about those you are in conversation with.
Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations. (Be open about your story and give space for others to do the same)
Now more than ever we need each other and we need our friends.
Martin lurthur King jr said “in the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”
Don’t let fear hold your back. Relationships, bereavements, sickness, hard situations, parents. Doctrinal and religious beliefs, it’s good to understand why you believe east you believe.
Ken Wystma says “Difficult conversations composed of well chosen words and space to consider new thoughts is a way we can pursue wisdom and challenge ourselves to more fully walk in the ways of Jesus.”
Be careful what religious language you use so that the gospel is accessible to all.
Our words are a roadway to lead people to Jesus or away, or with some of us around all the backroads!! (Overcomplicate Jesus)
I love how Paul communicate 1 Cor 9:19 to Jew i was, those under the law…etc
He adapted to his audience, their culture, their education and understand. He began where they where. He stepped into their show which formed his words, his approach. He thought how his words would affect others and how they would help them on the road to Christ.
Can i encourage you this week to try some things?
- You are your words — godly speech comes from a godly heart. It bears our fruit. How does it taste to the hearer?
(Exercise) image for a week you are wearing a mic that records your every word. At the end of the week everyone gets to listen to it. Matt 12:37
- speak for the good of others- focus on the other before we open our mouths. Ephesians 4:29 TPT
 And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them.
- Think about what you want to say before speaking to others.
- Speak to carry others loads not add to them.
- Our words must be matched by actions or they are empty. Actions are words come alive. Gardening with our words
- start your day asking the Holy Spirit to lead all your words. 8. practice the Yes and principle in conversations.