Speak the Truth in Christ

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.”
Romans 9:1

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.

Powerful Words

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.”
Proverbs 18:21

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.

Accountability

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.”
Matthew 12:36

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.”
Matthew 4:4

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.

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.”
Psalm 19:14

“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.”

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Words of Life! Empowering Words!

Speaking Words of Life

Every word we speak is a choice; every choice bears fruit. As Christians, our focused desire is to speak empowering words that consistently reap godly results.

“The tongue can bring death or life;
those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”
Proverbs 18:21

As Light as Feather

Long ago, a man was mentoring someone who was struggling to control his words. He took his student to the top of a tall tower and instructed him to rip open the feather pillow he had brought along. As directed the student held the pillow over the side of the tower, releasing its contents to the wind.

“Now gather the feathers” instructed the older gentleman.

Together they descended the many flights of stairs to ground level. The mentor patiently watched and waited.  The younger man returned clutching ten fragile feathers in his hand. All the rest had drifted beyond sight in the gentle breeze.

Feather

Once spoken words dissipate beyond return. Some words as delicate and beautiful as feathers lifting and encouraging. Other words land like lead weight on an already wounded heart.

Words that Build

There have been numerous times in my life when people have spoken words of encouragement and built me up:

You can…”
“I know you have the ability…”
“You did that so well…”
“I love you…”

Most of these words came at a time when I felt I couldn’t, or I didn’t have what it takes for a task ahead. Sometimes, they came at a moments of complete failure. Their words were wings of grace that lifted and empowered me to continue and risk again.

Moses spoke words of affirmation over Joshua many times:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

I cannot imagine what it would feel like to take over the leadership from someone like Moses! How overwhelming!

These words would echo in Joshua’s heart repeatedly as he led millions into their promise. Moses’ confidence in him and spoken affirmation were God given!

Words of Encouragement

We all face situations that seem beyond our ability. Every word of affirmation makes a difference in validating and propelling us forward.

My husband and I are amazed at how many young people consistently include us in their circle of friendship. Perhaps it is, in part at least, because we enjoying encouraging and inspiring them to greater and better things.

This is itself is a miracle! Neither of us were always that way! As a matter of fact, we have both received a large share of hurting and condemning words. We have both had to work hard at removing anger, critical judgments and condemning attitudes from out thinking and vocabulary.

Words that Teach

“In my former book, Theophilus,
I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach.”
Acts 1:1

Through the gospels, the words of Jesus continue to impact hearts and lives worldwide. His words were always life giving!

How many or how few, of our words are spoken with intentionality of having generational influence?

There is a relatively new medium called Spoken Word Poetry that has become a powerful voice of this generation. Through poetic verse the truth of redeeming love and breakthrough declares faith in Jesus Christ.

Each of us has the ability to use speak in such a way as to

empower, motivate to action,
lead others to encounter to Christ,
bring healing and hope
empathize and sympathize
elevate and inspire.

Spoken, written or sung, words have the power to ignite destiny and purpose in hearts.

Written Words

Jesus, The Word

“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 1:1

The greatest Word is the Person of Jesus Christ! The Word came. He spoke audibly and visibly! The most important words we can speak are from The Word! They contain life beyond earth’s reach – words that give life eternal.

“That which was from the beginning,
which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,
which we have looked at and our hands have touched
this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.”
I John 1:1

Some of the most powerful words we could speak may easily be our testimony about what Jesus has done in our lives! What a privilege we have to tell of the things we have seen, heard and experienced. Actually, the gospels are literally testimony by four men who witnessed The Word.

Words of Testimony

What has your faith meant to you? What has Christ done in your life? Have you experienced His peace or strength in difficult times? Have you witnessed a miracle? Let your voice be heard! Testify to what you have experienced! Pass on the personal experience to your children and grandchildren! Share with your friends and those in your workplace how loving and amazing God is!

While they may seem insignificant, your words could be exactly what God uses to build faith in others.

“Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.”
So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city
what great things Jesus had done for him.”
Luke 8:39

God has chosen the most unlikely candidates to be his witnesses: a Samaritan woman, a once demonic, murderers, thieves, and lepers. People from the highest and lowest levels of society. Our testimony of Jesus is never about us, always about Him.

A Challenge

Since the words of my mouth have not always been pure and loving, encouraging and supportive, radiating the goodness of God, this is a constant work of progress in me. Therefore, through my writing I challenge myself, may you also be encouraged.

Join me in speaking words that lift and empower! Who will you, or I, impact today with a word of life? God only knows.

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Here is more on relationships – My Call to Action – Living and Communing Authentic Relationships

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Why Did I Just Do That? The Things We Say And Do

Refocus! The Fruit of the Spirit

Do you ever find yourself scratching your head wondering about the things you say and do? I just had one of these moments! Here I sit with an Alice & Victor cool pack resting on the shoulder I pulled during an ungraceful entrance into my own home – through the basement window.

As I read first hand accounts of others I know they questioned their decisions:

In case you think it was only the male leaders who were rash in speech or action, I’ll spare us the feminine examples Eve, Martha, the mother of James and John, and others.

We’ve all been there at one time or another:

speaking when silence would have been golden
moving at a time when peace and rest were the power centers of advancement
allowing emotions to rule reason
hidden internal agendas and motives bubbling into full view

The Things We Say and Do

Things We Say And Do

Words are like toothpaste” is an object lesson that powerfully illustrates the importance of the things we say and do.

“Those who guard their mouths
and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”

Proverbs 21:23

In most cases if I would slow down, say a little prayer and move thoughtfully, “calamity” could be avoided.  Proverbs 31 speaks about women but it applies to all:

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

Proverbs 31:26 

But of course, it isn’t just our words that can get us into precarious situations; actions speak too!

“Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let them show it by their good life,

by deeds done in the humility
that comes from wisdom.”

James 3:13

Fruit of the Spirit

I enjoy growing fruit: raspberries and strawberries, cherries and plums, apples and grapes, apricots and pears – all in a Canadian prairie garden! That may not seem like much to those in warmer territories, but in northern regions these plants need to withstand the brunt of harsh and lengthy winters.

The bible and life have taught me that a good tree will always bear good fruit. Always!

Fruit of the Spirit

 

I know we tend to think of the fruit of the Spirit as elementary, but it remains a constant work in progress for me. (Slow learner?) Just when one branch of my life is producing in abundance, another withers.

I find the hardest place to position this beautiful and life-giving “fruit” is toward myself especially in “what did I just say and do” moments.

But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace,
forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

In our “Ugh!” moments, can we show ourselves the same grace we demonstrate to others?

patient in our weaknesses,
loving in our self-thoughts,
gentle and kind in failure,
displaying the love of Christ
when we feel replaceable, unloved,
rejected, forsaken, or alone…

The fruit of the spirit is the kingdom on heaven, through Christ, being expressed toward others and myself!

Why Did I Say and Do That?

It all begins in our thinking! Graham Cooke is a gem at inspiring many to redirect the negative to positive!

“Every day, we wake up with a mindset that
works for us or against us
It produces a way forward
and it allows us to enjoy the circumstances
and the discovery that we are going to make.
It allows a strength to emerge and be developed.”

Did you catch that little word – “produce”? That is fruit talk!

“A mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
Romans 8:6

The good news is, we have the mind of Christ already! It has been given to us with salvation! Now we just need to adjust it, focusing it fully on the Spirit!

Refocus

So on those days when I say or do something out of focus with who Christ in me is, I can think creatively and positively to turn things around. This little pulled muscle reminds me of lessons learned!

  • I’m too old to elegantly climb through windows!
  • I can listen and focus on what the Spirit is doing and saying.
  • I have opportunity to adjust my personal lens zooming into the same perspective.

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Related Blogs:

Top 4 Hindrances to Authentic Relationships

Grace Notes – The Extras that Matter! A Support to the Melody!