by Pastor Tim Burt
I am going to pick up where I left on in Part One of this Devotion.
God wants us to succeed in how we communicate. Success starts with forming boundaries for the words you are going to speak in life. Psalm 37:37 (KJV) says, “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” When God’s word calls this person, the perfect man, it’s referring to someone who has matured and knows how to speak and conduct themselves in a godly manner—in the way God’s word trains us. We get further insight into the perfect man in James 3:2 (KJV) “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” Again we see a reference to the perfect man and it tells us that the perfect man is the one who does not offend in word!
Trust me when I tell you, the most difficult change in becoming more Christ-like is harnessing your tongue! James 3:8 NIV teaches us that “…no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” I came to realize that without the continuous, moment-by-moment help of the Holy Spirit, this would be a lost cause. But, in leaning constantly on the Holy Spirit, progress could steadily (but slowly) be made.
One of the greatest ways we can accomplish that is by speaking words of grace! Ephesians 4:29 NIV says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may impart grace to those who listen.” There is no fast track to this kind of maturity, but if we purpose to use our words to edify and encourage others at every possibility, then it, in turn, helps us be more thoughtful in the words we speak overall! Success does not come fast but it will come faster!
What does it mean, “…that it may impart grace to those who listen?” Grace is the supernatural help we get from God in all areas of our life. It’s the combination of God’s mercy, His compassion, instruction from His Word, and His direct and supernatural help in our life. And God pours out this grace even when we don’t deserve it, meaning, it’s always available when you lean on His help!
When you do something wrong, the devil will try to accuse and condemn you in your thoughts. That is how you can discern God from the devil. The devil is an accuser and condemner. God will correct you showing you what is wrong, but He’s interested in helping you change to become more like Him. He is not interested in condemning you. Therefore, He’ll show you what is wrong through His Word, but He’ll also offer mercy, forgiveness, direction, and help through His Holy Spirit so that you can get things right. Simply put, He is out to help you. Unfortunately, people are much quicker to act like the devil—condemners, than to be like God—merciful and full of grace. That is the change in our words that God will work in you! God imparts grace to you and He wants you to use words of grace to impart to others—“…that it may impart grace to those who listen.”
The imparting of grace is a supernatural thing. If we are to impart grace, then that means that God is going to be involved in it. He is the one that is going to help us put away the fleshly impulses that come with being offended. It means He is going to help us see things from a different perspective—His perspective. That is where the grace will come from—His perspective in us! Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.”
Imagine that you feel like blasting a person that has offended you in some way. Instead, God speaks to your heart and says, “Put your thoughts and words on pause. Don’t slam-dunk them! That’s how the devil does business. Pause for a minute. I have forgiven you. I have had mercy on you. You’ve blown it just like this person you’re mad at. I’ve looked past your sins and continued to love you. Can you do it for them? Can you settle down and let me help you? Can you find kind words to speak truth, kindness, mercy, and help to them? Will you impart grace to them?”
Can you do this on your own? No! Grace comes from God. But He’s always right there to help you! In yourself, you might want to lash out. The hurtful thoughts in your mind fight to make their way out of your mouth. But, that isn’t God’s way. He wants you to be a vessel of His grace. It isn’t about suppressing feelings of anger, hurt, or disappointment. It’s about God helping you see things in such a way, that you can have mercy knowing He’s had mercy on you. Forgive knowing He’s forgiven you. And then manifesting compassion and kindness as God’s grace is imparted through you!
God’s grace is available to you whenever you need it! He says it’s available. It’s received by faith. 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” God wants it to abound in your life and through you! As you learn to pause, exercise your faith, and pull on His grace in difficult times, then, over time, you will become supernaturally skillful in drawing on Him for words that impart life and grace. It will bless others, but also yourself. You will become delivered and transformed from having a destructive mouth to one who has a mouth of blessing. You will slowly but steadily become that perfect person—mature in the Lord that is successful and influential because of the words you speak!
Prov 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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