Just how powerful are your words? Can you recall the last time that you spoke words that built another up or encouraged the downhearted? Can you remember the last time the words that came out of your mouth were harmful, stirring up strife in a relationship, or were damaging to another’s reputation? Do you have any idea of the good or the damage your words have done over the years?
Words have power. Consider James 3:5-6 “So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence—and is set on fire by hell.”
Have you ever wondered how is it that we who have the Spirit of the Living God inside of us can become so easily entangled in sin? I believe that it is as simple as opening our mouths to speak. We get entangled in sin when we talk before we think, Proverbs 10:19; talk before we listen, James 1: 19; lie Proverbs 12:22; slander, Proverbs 20:19; boast, Proverbs 27:2; flatter, Proverbs 29:23. The list could go on. The amazing thing about sinning with our tongue is that words invariably lead to sins of action done in anger, jealousy, hypocrisy, and lust.
Jesus told us clearly where sin comes from. “The good person out of the good treasury of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasury produces evil, for his mouth speaks from what fills his heart.” Luke 6:45
Ephesians 4:29 warns us, “You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it would give grace to those who hear.” And James makes it clear that we can’t on our own keep our tongue in control. “But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse people made in God’s image. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters.” James 3:8-10
How do we get entangled in sin? It all begins in our hearts. We will know we have a problem if we stop and listen to what we are saying. Jesus said, “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person. For out of the heart come evil ideas, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
If we never check under the hood of our car we will never know when it needs a tune up. So it is with our words and heart. Time to check our words and humbly confess our sinful thoughts and words to the one who can transform the heart! 1 John 1 and Romans 6 give us God’s plan for rescuing us from the sins that so easily entangle us.
“If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9
So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, and do not present your members to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and your members to God as instruments to be used for righteousness. For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:11-14
In this way of confession and repentance we will accomplish Romans 12:1&2 “Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice—alive, holy, and pleasing to God—which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.”
Once you practice this confession and repentance pattern of dealing with sin on a daily basis then it is time to share this wonderful example with the children in your life.