One thing that God has been highlighting to us here in Belize is the spoken word. A theme that keeps coming up in our bible readings and discussions is the words we speak. God, our father, created the universe with the spoken word. Jesus, His son, brought healing and life, again through the spoken word. We have been noticing throughout scripture how God really emphasizes the impact of our words. Over the next couple of weeks we are going to take time out on the blog to really dive into what the scriptures say about our words. Do they matter? Where do they come from? How do the things we say impact our life and the lives of those around us? Let’s get started.
We are going to start this week with a very familiar Passage in Matthew 12. You have heard it, read it, it’s famous. Only good trees bear good fruit. Often this passage is taught to us and the focus of the fruit of our lives is our actions or attitudes. Verse 33 in TPT says:
“You must determine if a tree is good or rotten. You can recognize good trees by their delicious fruit. But if you find rotten fruit, you can be certain that the tree is rotten. The fruit defines the tree.”
The fruit defines the tree. Again, the fruit discussed here is often taught as our actions, etc. After reading this passage again recently Verses 34 - 37 stuck out.
But you who are known as the Pharisees are rotten to the core! You’ve been poisoned by the nature of a venomous snake. How can your words be good and trustworthy if you are rotten within? For what has been stored up in your hearts will be heard in the overflow of your words! “When virtue is stored within, the hearts of good and upright people will produce good fruit. But when evil is hidden within, those who are evil will produce evil fruit. You can be sure of this: when the day of judgment comes, everyone will be held accountable for every careless word he has spoken. Your very words will be used as evidence against you, and your words will declare you either innocent or guilty.
How can your words be good and trustworthy if you are rotten within? What has been stored up in our hearts will be heard in the overflow of our words! Wow! The fruit that Jesus is talking about in this passage is the words of our mouth. Proverbs talks constantly about guarding our hearts, it is the spring that everything flows out of. How often do you find yourself if hopeless situation after hopeless situation? Relationship after relationship that ends up in hurt and confusion? Are you often finding yourself feeling overwhelmed, burdened, tired, hurt, bitter, betrayed? The list can go on and on… The answer to these issues will not be provided by asking “who’s to blame?” Or “What has been done to me?” The question we need to ask ourselves is “What am I saying?” What are my words speaking in this situation?”
We can look at Jesus as our example, always. Jesus was betrayed, slandered, criticized, tempted, etc. All before he was beaten, bruised, and crucified for our sins. Despite all the outside hurt and pain, He remained rooted in joy, hope, and the love of His father. The fruit of His words reflected kingdom principles of forgiveness, hope, and healing. In following Jesus’ example, no matter the words of criticism from your co-workers, your illness, or betrayal. Our hearts can and should remain pure of bitterness or discouragement. Our words, the fruit of our lives, should always be rooted in Him, in His goodness.
Activation: Think of one situation in your life that feels hopeless or frustrating. Now, think about anytime you have spoken about this situation in the last week or two weeks. What are your words rooted in? Jealousy? Bitterness? Discouragement? Ask yourself if your words are bringing life to your circumstance or if they are feeding the rot. Then spend some time asking for forgiveness for what you have held onto, and offering forgiveness to others who have hurt you. Then Ask God what he is saying over your circumstance. Challenge yourself to stop yourself from speaking the same old narrative over your life and begin to speak a new one, the one God is speaking over you! Pay attention, and you will start to notice your perspective change, and the fruit of your life begin to multiply!