When Paul wrote to the churches in Rome, he said, “I speak the truth in Christ.” Do I, like Paul, speak the truth in Christ? If not, what am I speaking? Do my words reflect an accurate or a warped perception of reality?
“I speak the truth in Christ — I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit works through a tender conscience to bring personal revelation about the matter. How are my words misaligned with the truth found in Christ?
As I read that little phrase this morning in Romans, I paused and mediated upon every word. “I . . . speak . . . the truth . . . in Christ.” I’m not sure if the Holy Spirit halts you like He does me, but this morning was just such a day.
I couldn’t help but ask, “Do I?” The honest answer came, “Not always!”
The writer of Proverbs refused to be silent about the influence of our words. “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life (10:11),” and “the tongue of the wise is health (12:18).” Then 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”
God clearly desires us to understand that our words contain the hidden potential to bring life and healing.
Many seniors occupy the condo where we live. Often their conversation turns to physical alignments plaguing their aging bodies. Although I try to add light to the conversation, they will often return to negative banter.
In talking about our attitude, John Hopkins say,
“What is clear, however, is that there is definitely a strong link between “positivity” and health. Additional studies have found that a positive attitude improves outcomes and life satisfaction across a spectrum of conditions — including traumatic brain injury, stroke, and brain tumors.”
I recently read about a heart specialist who refuses to perform surgeries on patients with a negative attitude, saying, “Too many die during the procedure.”
Can words influence our health? Studies show that negative words release catabolic hormones into our bodies that proceed to actually break the physical body down. On the other hand, positive words release anabolic hormones which help to heal and rejuvenate our bodies.
God affirms in the Bible what science is recently discovering.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Power is the word yad, meaning “in the hand of” or “under the direction of.”
Words of Life
When we speak the truth in Christ, we literally speak words of life over not just our physical bodies, but over destinies as well. It remains critical to our health, both physically and spiritually, to agree with what God says about us?
Is God saying, “You can!” while we mutter, “I can’t, it’s too hard, or that’s impossible?” Is God saying, “You are able!” while we protest, expounding on our inadequacies?”
I find the quickest way to steer the words of mouth into truth is through declarations of God’s Word. Let me use Romans 6 as an example. Paul reminds us that since we have been united with Christ in both His death and His resurrection we are now free from the confines of the past and free to confidently approach our future. He uses the symbolism of baptism to illustrate his point.
With my words, I declare this living reality.
“What shall I say then? Shall I go on sinning so that grace may increase? Absolutely not! Because of baptism I have died to sin in every way and can no longer live according to the patterns of my past. Every old way of thinking, speaking, and reacting has been buried with Him in baptism. I don’t have to eat that, smoke that, think that, say that, or do that old thing anymore. Christ has set me free, totally free, through His death and resurrection!!!
I am united with Christ in His resurrection — no longer a slave to or controlled by sin, but alive to everything that brings life, healing, and hope. My destiny and future is determined by Him alone. Because I am united with Christ, He makes all things possible for me. I have come to obey from my heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed my allegiance. I have been set free from every destructive way and become a bondservant of righteousness. Righteousness reigns within every part of my thinking and behavior. I am alive, forever alive, in Christ!”
I encourage you to read the whole chapter to understand the full message. As you read it out loud, speak it over your life, your family, and your situation. There is nothing magical as we form God’s Word into personal declaration, but something extremely significant occurs as we align our thoughts with His, and speak the truth in Christ.
I can’t tell you how often, I have prayed with someone for healing and watched them receive a significant touch from the Lord. Even before they leave, however, negative patterns of speaking begin to undermine what God has radically done for them.
“It comes and goes, you know. Maybe it isn’t God’s will to heal me.” Through words of doubt, they keep the door open for sickness and disease to continue to harass them.
Other times, people receive a healing with thanksgiving and joy. They declare the things God has done with those around them. Their words align with God’s and their healing is secured as they speak the truth in Christ.
God has placed people in my life who hold me accountable by what I say. If I slip into degrading self-talk, usually jokingly, they call me on it. When I set my direction to accomplish a goal, they follow my progress and prod me on if necessary. If I’m attempting to overcome a problem, they make sure I see it through to completion. Accountability also keeps me from speaking careless words.
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.”
Careless come from the Greek word argos meaning “inactive, unemployed, useless, barren, nonworking, and unprofitable.” Argos represents the opposite of speaking the truth in Christ.
Speak the Truth in Christ
As we speak the truth in Christ our words become action-packed, employing the power of God, useful for His purposes, reproducing godly fruit, working God’s intention within and around us, and profitable for the expansion of His Kingdom.
Just as careless or idle words destroy, God-inspired words build.
Tim Sheets, in his book Planting the Heavens (page 159), says,
” . . . God wants to give us the desires of our heart, but it’s our responsibility to steer our lives toward that desire with our words.”
Jesus repeated the words of Scripture found in Deuteronomy when He said,
” . . . Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
As we speak the truth in Christ, we align ourselves with “every word that comes from the mouth of God.” God’s desire and our heart’s desire come together, steering our lives with God-breathed words.
This is a continual process as we endeavour to match our words with His. Whether our vocabulary needs a minor tweek or a major overhaul, let’s continue to speak the truth in Christ. God alone knows what transformational change might await us as we do.
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
“God fill our mouths with words agreeing with Your words of declaration over us, our families, and our communities. May Holy Spirit guide our use of words so that we may live with clear consciences before You. We desire to speak life-given, kingdom-advancing words. Anoint our tongues as mouthpieces for Your glory and praise. Amen.”