Monday, October 20, 2008

The Power of Words

On Sunday, October 19, we looked at James 3:1-12 as we talked about the power of words. In that section of Scripture, James says much about what comes out of our mouths! From the passage, we noted the following:
Words have Power. James likened them to rudders on ships or bits in the mouths of horses. In both cases, we see the power of words to control direction. Our words function very similary. They set the course of our lives. James also said they are like a spark that begins a huge forest fire. In that way, the power of our words to be destructive is highlighted.
Proverbs 18:21 says that "the tongue has the power of life and death." I was greatly helped by Paul Tripp to see that all words are moving toward life or toward death; that there is no neutrality to our words ( So, where do these words come from?

Words reveal the Heart. James says that blessings and cursings should not come from the same mouth. In proving his point he says that salt water and fresh water do not come from the same spring. James is tapping into the same thing Jesus pointed out in Matt 15:18-19 where he taught that it is not outward religious rituals that make us unclean, but the things in our heart that are expressed in words. Jesus bluntly states that the things that come out of the mouth are from the heart. So, the biggest part of our problem with our speech is our heart. Which points out the third thing I see in this passage.

Words Drive us to Grace. James says that the man who is "never at fault" in his speech is perfect. Wow. What a standard. Never at fault in speech. James' goal is not to drive us to despair or frustration or to try harder...his goal is to drive us to grace. I cannot say it better than Tripp: "There is no greater argument for your need of grace than what comes out of your mouth."

All of us who claim to follow Christ need to ask: does what I say reflect a heart that has been changed by God's grace?

If you have yet to commit to Christ, let me encourage you that God is not interested in you cleaning up your act before you do. He will transform you from the inside out. He will replace the "salty" spring with a fresh water one!

So...what do your words say about your relationship with Christ?

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