I’ve been talking about Abraham’s example to us in receiving God’s blessing and provision. In my last post I said that we needed to speak what we believe from our heart. This is important because it’s usually our speaking that gets us in the most trouble.
Listen to the exchange that took place as Abraham was taking Isaac up the mountain. All Abraham knew at this point was that God was asking him to offer Isaac up as a sacrifice.
Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
I can only imagine how much pain this question caused Abraham. I believe that there was a long pause while Abraham thought about how he could answer the boy. It amazes me how simply the answer was formed.
In spite of his confusion, and without anger or bitterness toward God, he spoke the truth in faith and love. This is a lesson we need to take to heart.
So many times we speak without thinking. We especially run into trouble when we talk from the hurt and anguish we’re experiencing. We say many things that we wish we could take back.
That’s why one of the secrets to positioning ourselves to receive God’s blessing is to watch what we say when we’re hurting. James understood this truth.
Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
James is looking at this from a negative perspective. Controlled by the spirit, the tongue can set your life on course for God’s blessing. Controlling the tongue is one of the hardest things we’re called to do, yet it’s one of the most important. What we say can set the emotional foundation for our eventual success or failure.
How we speak, especially in times of confusion and pain, will have a lasting effect on both us and those around us. Is what you’re saying building up or tearing down God’s work?
We must choose to keep a watch over our tongues. If needed, we can go to the Lord in repentance for things that may have been said in hurt or anger. We can ask for His strength to take control of this unruly member of our body.
If we will spend time in the Lord’s presence and meditate upon His Word, then there will be a greater chance that truth and love will come out during stressful times.
Question: When have your words either helped or hurt the situation you were in?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013