Many people claim to love God and to be Christians. Depending on the source that defines their religion, this may be arguable. But if we look to the one unchanging source, the Bible, there is a definition we would be wise to consider.
Scripture makes it clear that the things which we speak are true evidence of our Christianity. We may practice good behavior everywhere else, but if we do not have control over our tongues, using them to speak life and faith, then what we are practicing is not true religion.
That seems a narrow definition, but how many “Christians” do you know who appear to be good and godly people, but then rip into someone so harshly that it makes you wonder about their claim to truly love God? Everyone knows someone who claims to follow Christ, but contradicts that with their mouth. Whether it is gossip, a harsh rebuke toward someone, or a bitter response to life circumstances, our tongues offer compelling proof of the true state of our hearts.
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45
It’s hard to escape such a reality. This, then, is all the more reason to embrace the praise challenge! For, as the quote at the top of today’s post says, we will either suffer the pain of self-discipline, or we will suffer the pain of regret. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve suffered enough regret in my life. I’m thinking it is time to see what happens when I try something else.
A popular saying in recovery circles is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting to see a different result. If at some point we don’t decide to do something different, nothing is going to change. Change may feel awkward and even hard, but in the end, it will yield the results we are seeking.
Do you claim to love God? Do you consider yourself a Christian? If so, does your mouth prove it? Not just in public, but behind the closed door of your home and your own heart? Do your responses to the difficult things and people in your life glorify God, or disgrace Him in the eyes and ears of others?
Today’s challenge is to embrace the discipline of training your tongue to praise God instead of curse or complain. In this, we will grow in true religion, and help others to see that real religion isn’t the godless system man has recreated it to be.
Choose to speak life today, and receive the reward of greater intimacy with God and a more appealing invitation to faith for those whom you’ve been appointed to be a witness to!