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There is a lot of talk about speaking into people's lives and the power of the spoken word. As we have seen in Proverbs 18:2, Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. One of the greatest things we can do as believers is speak to the God-given identity of another. Agreeing with God is very powerful. We've seen its effects in the lives of children when parents speak into their lives. As believers, we are called to bless; not curse. We are suppose to edify or build one another up; not tear each other down. If we are to live powerfully, we need to pay attention to what we say. Proverbs 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
It is easy to speak contrary to God's Word by speaking out of frustration. When someone fails to meet our expectation and we speak to that failure, we are not speaking in agreement with God. Without given it a thought, it is easy to actually speak against the identity of others. If you are influential in someone's life, you actually have the capacity to affect his belief system about himself. Remember, as a man thinks, so is he. Therefore, what you say to someone or what you say about someone may definitely affect his or her future. This includes those things spoken in “jest.” Sometimes, people take to heart what others say, regardless of the intent. By the way, sometimes when people say, “I was only kidding,” deep down they actually meant it or believed it.
Don't forget the non-believers. Our call is to make disciples. In essence, we are to reach the lost for Christ, who by definition, would also be future heirs of Christ. Calling someone an “idiot,” for example, does not lead him to Christ. In fact, it speaks against the destiny God has for them. What does that mean? It means we need to stay submitted to the Holy Spirit, so we will speak words of life over the lost as well as the believer.
As believers, we are still human, which means we may blow it in our speech from time to time. There is a difference between the occasional cross word and habitual cross words. Hopefully, as we mature, those incidents are very few and far between, if any. We cannot embrace the notion that God's grace empowers us to be flippant in our speech. Rather, it empowers us to speak life over people and influence them for the kingdom of God.
The enemy of our souls will do everything he can to get us to agree with him. That's his way of gaining power, since Jesus stripped Satan of his power at the Cross and Resurrection (see Colossians 2:15). He is clever and seeks to trick us into speaking out of frustration and anger. Fortunately, God's grace gives us the capacity to send him packing. We need to live intentional in our day to day living. Whether it's at home, at work, in traffic or any other place. We need to purpose in our heart to speak well of others and speak graciously to them. Are you edifying others, or attacking their identity?
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