My pen is the best form of communication when I need to express my displeasure at anything. I’m not much of a verbal confrontational person but give me a pen and paper, and I could scribble words that’ll leave you destabilized emotionally.
At the time I began to gain some level of influence on social media, when you stepped on my toes, I gave it to you hot. I didn’t care who was on the other side reading what I had written. But as I grew in grace and in the understanding of the revealed word, I began to seek wisdom on how to speak words that build up rather than demeaning words.
I have heard people say, if you want to have lots of followers and comments, talk more about controversial posts on social media or lash out at a certain sect, and gbam! your fanbase will increase. I don’t know how true that is, but even if it is, are we as believers expected to just say things the way we feel because we are skillful writers?
In a general sense, when we have been hurt deeply or we feel upset because something wasn’t done properly, what should our approach and reaction be?
….Grace be unto you and Peace from God our father, Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:3
At this point in Paul’s letter, He was greatly upset with the Galatians. He had invested so much in them, taught them the gospel of grace and yet they had accepted something different from the gospel he preached. The things he warned them against were the same things they did. However, even though they had erred and acted in ways that displeased God, Paul began his letter by whispering grace unto them.
If some of us were in Paul’s shoes, probably the first sentence that would come out of our mouth ehn, for the next two years, the Galatians would still be trying to pick the pieces of their lives together.
So I’m learning, my words must come from the standpoint of Grace. No matter how upset I am and in the event of importing necessary corrective measures, I must draw from God’s matchless grace rather than my flesh. There are times that after we have ranted and said so many hurtful words, we return to our closet regretting and wishing we could take them back. The simple truth is: We can’t take the words back.
There are leaders and Pastors who have rained curses on their members. Some even have the audacity to do so in the name of Jesus. Oh yes, there are husbands and wives who have been torn apart by the fruit of their lips.
Some grown adults are still under the devastating words of their parents. They ventured into things that brought serious consequences, some have passed on those words to the next generation and others are still struggling with self-esteem. There are men who have been unable to reach their potentials because of a partner who never believed in their ability and constantly put them down with their words. So many relationships, friendships have been ruined because of this singular fact. Words.
..And the tongue is a wall of fire, a world of iniquity…the tongue defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature and it is set on the fire of hell. James 3:6
When you meet a man in a good mood or when he is happy and has plenty of money, you may not truly know what he can do. Go to him when he is angry or under intense pressure, then you’ll know what he is like.
Something else caught my attention as I further looked into Galatians 1:3.
Elisha was no doubt an anointed man of God. In 2 Kings 2: 23-24, some children mocked and laughed at him. The man of God got angry and cursed them, commanding bears to destroy them. In another instance, when Gahazi got coveteous and collected those materials from Naaman, Elisha immediately pronounced leprosy not only upon him but also on his generation.
As great as Elisha was, he is not our example. Remember what happened on the mount of transfiguration, when the representative of the prophet and the law stood with Jesus. Peter made a statement proposing that three tabernacles be made for them, but God interrupted his conversation. In my mind, God was like, ‘No way! You dare not bring my Son on the same level with these men. Hear God’s direct words:
‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.’ Matthew 17: 5.
Jesus is our example. How did he prove this? His action towards Peter all the while he was bragging and walking in the flesh, his reaction to his disciples who were struggling to get a seat in heaven, his disposition towards Judas Iscariot even though he knew he was a thief, his sharing of bread and fish with a man who denied him thrice, his prayer for forgiveness on the cross for the same people who were spearheading his crucifixion, his death and resurrection to reconcile us to God.
When Jesus says, ‘But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless those who despitefully use you and persecute you.’ It doesn’t matter what any Pastor, no matter how renowned, thinks. We follow them only as they follow Christ.
So I asked myself, how do I achieve this practically? God’s Word in Colossians 4:6 tells me that my speech should always be full of grace, seasoned with salt and I’d know how to properly answer every man that comes my way.
If God’s word says this, then it is possible right? But how do I begin to see this play out in my life? How can I bring sweetness in my communication with others even when I am upset? I remember many times my friends and I would wonder at the sarcastic, insensitive and biting tongue of the choleric temperament and conclude that it was impossible for sweetness to come out of their mouths. But isn’t God’s Word for them too? Can we tune off the temptation to respond according to our flesh and speak the exact words God desires of us?
This scripture came to my heart as I pondered on some of these questions. Perfect answer.
….For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Luke 6:45.
That’s the secret to speaking grace filled words. So in essence, what is contained in my heart will naturally flow out of my mouth. If God helps me to comprehend the length, height and depth of His love, It will reflect in the way I communicate with others. If the fullness of God already resident in my spirit finds expression in my soul, I would draw out of that fullness for every situation. If I give place to beholding the God’s Word everyday and allowing the mind of Christ dominate my thinking pattern, I won’t be responding to the flesh. A well nurtured tree will bring forth good fruits.
It’s a daily progress. As we allow the Holy Spirit carry out his transforming work and grow in the knowledge of Jesus, the words of our mouth will be pleasing unto God.
I end with this song which is also a prayer and scripture.
So let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord.