Let’s Talk Words
“Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
That is what I was- a slanderer. I talked about people, putting them down in my conversations with others. It was destructive behavior, and as much as I wanted to be a nice girl and to be accepted by others, gossip was still a part of my nature. I couldn’t overcome the temptation.
“But you were washed…” When I confessed my sin and surrendered my life to Jesus, everything changed. The temptation to gossip was still present, and at times I stumbled, but the transformation increasingly happened as I took in the truths of God’s Word. A holy reverence and a Spirit empowerment became the guards of my mouth.
The Bible makes clear that every word spoken in secret will be openly proclaimed (See Luke 12:3). That puts a holy fear in a girl whose past included loose lips! Thank Jesus that He is faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness when we confess our sins. All record of my rebellion to God in the form of beliefs, words, and actions is washed clean. I have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Early in my learning about how to live my faith in Jesus, I remember hearing the testimony about someone who was known for never speaking a negative word about another person. Of course, a reputation like that struck me with awe. Oh, how I wished that was my testimony. I was beginning to understand for the first time that every person has been created in the image of God. Every person has an inherit value because the Creator deemed his/her existence. Therefore, what I speak to another or speak about him is vital. I must use my mouth to make agreement with God, because words hold power of life and death (See Proverbs 18:21).
Paul’s words recorded in Philippians 3:12-14 encourage me, and I hope they encourage you: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Did you blow it last year, last month, or last week? Even if your failure was as recent as yesterday, embrace the truth that God’s mercies are new every morning (See Lamentations 3:22). Make amends with the one you have hurt in any way that you have power to do so. And let this mercy we have in Jesus revive your spirit and bring rest for your soul!