REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on August 21, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“How I Stopped Speaking ‘French’ which I Spoke with Fluency”
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will . . . speak in new tongues.”
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths . . .”
“You speak fluent French,” I said to the man whom I met at a bookstore, and I added, “I used to speak French myself.” I glanced at my wife who gave me the look of “You did?” Of course, I wasn’t referring to the French I took in high school, but the propensity to lace every conversation with profanity. In fact, the first sin that I confessed at the moment of my conversion was for my “dirty mouth.” Thereafter, despite occasional slipups, especially as a young Christian, God helped me to overcome that problem.
Some theologians distinguish between Christ as our Savior as opposed to Christ as our Lord to teach that the only requirement for salvation is to believe Jesus as the Savior; and later on, one can decide whether to make Christ his Lord. In the meantime, the “saved person” is under no obligation to change his life. What’s missing in such a short-sighted thinking is the role of the Holy Spirit in salvation. Upon reading Titus 3:5-6 that says, “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,” a good question to raise is, “What does the Spirit do as he renews us?” Apostle John would answer, “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin . . .” (Jn. 16:8). And when the Spirit was poured out upon me even as the Lord was saving me, I felt so guilty for letting unwholesome talk to come out of my mouth “to curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness” (James 3:9).
For some, “speaking in new tongues” literally means to have the gift of tongues. While that gift is still alive and well today, we can also understand that verse to mean that as a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), we “put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor,” to “build others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 5:29).
So I told the man at the bookstore that I no longer had to cuss to express my discontentment and bitterness because I found peace in Jesus Christ. How do you use your words? Instead of hurting someone’s feeling with our insensitive comments, use them to encourage somebody today.
Prayer: Dear Christ, I magnify and glorify your name that is above all names. There are no apt words to describe your majesty, love and grace. But I confess that I have spoken many words that have brought dishonor and disgrace to your holy name. Forgive me. Through the Holy Spirit, constantly remind me of the need to use my mouth, first, to exalt you, and second, to edify those around me. Thank you.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 26
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Tim. 5:13 (ESV): “Besides that, [younger widows] learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.”
Proverbs 11:13: “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret”: 20:19: “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much”; 25:9-10: “If you take your neighbor to court, do not betray another’s confidence, or the one who hears it may shame you and the charge against you will stand.”
1 Kings 21:13: “And the two worthless men (hired by Jezebel) came in and sat opposite him. And the worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, ‘Naboth cursed God and the king.’ So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones.”
Proverbs 10:19: “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongues is wise”;
17:28: “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”
Questions to Consider
- What are some typical ways in which our tongues end up hurting people around us? Can this happen even at a prayer meeting?
- Among several factors behind why people gossip, what is a prominent one? What can we do about it?
- What are some ways to keep us from putting our foot in our mouth? What has been your experience?
- The book of Proverbs prominently mentions gossiping. Sometimes, there is a fine line between sharing a prayer request and gossiping. Since the Lord knows the person whom we are thinking of, perhaps we do not need to be too specific when discussing someone’s problem in order for others to pray. The more malicious way is creating a lie to hurt our rival, competition, or a disliked person.
- The 1 Timothy passage implies that boredom is a factor behind gossip; thus, people do what comes naturally—talk. And when words are many, imprudent words are bound to be said. So, we should know when to wrap up our conversation, especially avoiding all-night meaningless talks.
- Thinking beforehand what we are going to say, even writing down our thoughts can be helpful. If we have nothing good to say, then it might be better to say nothing. I found that having something good to say is the best time to offer constructive criticism. When writing an e-mail, which can prevent harsh words spoken in haste, we ought to read it once or twice before clicking the send button. We should tone down the harsh sounding words to ensure that the message will be heard.
Only the Lord knows how many words came out of our mouth today. What are some words that you would like to take back? What are some words that you ought to repeat tomorrow? Evaluate your day and pray for wisdom in this area.