Did You Say That?

Besides breathing there isn’t much we do we more in this life than speaking. Our lives are filled with words: we joke, tell stories, teach kids, interact with our spouse, complain, encourage friends, work in our profession, and much, much more. With Paul Tripp coming soon to The Crossing to speak on this subject, I thought it might be worth thinking about the significance of our words.

First, Jesus says that words are important because they reveal our spiritual condition. In Luke 6:45 Jesus says, “For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” What Jesus is saying is that our words are a picture of what is happening within our hearts. Angry words, complaining words, grumbling words, gossipy words, selfish words, reveal a heart with the same problems. If this is true (and Jesus sure seems to think that it is), then that means that if we are going to solve our word problems, we will have to first work on our heart and only then on our tongue.

Second, words are important because they are so powerful. James, the half brother of Jesus, explains the power of the tongue by making comparisons to bit on a horse’s bridle and a rudder on a boat (James 3:1-12). His point is that just like a bit and rudder are small things that control much larger objects so the tongue has power disproportionate to its size. The words you speak have the power to build up and tear down.

When I think of things that I regret in my life (and by the way the list is pretty long), almost all of them have to do with things that I’ve said. My guess is that you are like me and wish that you could retract words that you’ve spoken in anger or sarcasm or at another’s expense or selfish words or complaining words. But just like you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, you can’t put words back into your mouth. Even after you’ve apologized and sought forgiveness, you can’t take away the sting and hurt caused by what’s already been said.

Paul Tripp wrote a book called War of Words that all of our pastors and most of our staff have read and highly recommend. That’s why we’ve invited him to come speak on this topic at The Crossing. Tripp has a way of speaking and writing that penetrates my heart. He seems to know what’s going on inside of me and is able to both challenge and encourage me in the everyday issues of life. I hope to see you there.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>