"Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love." Ephesians 4:15-16.
Words are so powerful.
Words give life, resuscitate the soul, empower truth. They can be used as missiles, as knives to the heart. Our tongues have the power to deceive, defame, deface, praise, affirm, encourage. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing (James 3:10). We can build cities. We can move walls. We can implement change with the words we speak.
I believe that what we say matters. I believe in the words of community, in the life giving words of breaking bread, the prayers we pray. I believe in the power of written words, in the blogs we write, the sermons we preach, the songs we sing, the books we read. I believe we do life together through words.
I believe in the choice that words give us. We choose to be vulnerable, to hide, to speak truth, to share our souls, to invite someone in, to encourage. Every time our mouths open, our tongues move into gear, our pen hits paper, we have the choice to SPEAK LIFE. We are leaving an impression. Letters, syllables, grammar, punctuation make up the fabric of our influence. Do we realize the weight of what this means? Our words are not meaningless or insignificant or empty. We can do so much with them.
Because our words matter, we look to Jesus.
Our model is in the life of Jesus. Throughout the Gospels, He speaks. He says, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.' His words heal. His words give life. He speaks honestly to the Samaritan woman at the well and says that He is the Living Water. He tells Peter three times to 'feed my sheep.' He says from the cross, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' He calls out, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.'
Faithful, loving, He is beautiful.
Jesus didn't just speak truth.. Jesus IS truth. He is perfect and honest and pure and just. I think of his response to sinners. His response to his disciples. His response to the Pharisees. His response to the Father. His Word is ultimate and it is more than just our example. It saves us.
So let your speech be gracious (Colossians 4:6), may you hold fast to the word of life (Philippians 2:16), may the Word of God dwell richly in you (Colossians 3:16), may we encourage one another and build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and may every knee bow and every TONGUE confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 1:23).
Choose your words. Choose life. Choose Jesus.