This post originally appeared November 18, 2014 on thegospelcoalition.org
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. James 1:26 (NLT)
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov. 12:18 (ESV)
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Col. 4:6 (NIV)
The mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45 (NIV)
Dear heavenly Father, nothing is more daily and revealing than our words—the conversations we carry on in our minds, and the communications we share with one another. That is both sobering and encouraging to me, as I begin this day. Sobering, for obvious reasons. I don’t want to contradict my love for you by an irresponsible use of my words. I don’t want to speak like a man thrusting a sword; I want my words to bring healing and grace.
That’s where the encouragement comes in. That which fills my heart will shape my words. So before I have my first interaction with anyone today, Father, I want to set my mind, heart and affection on you. Before I speak, I want to listen to what you are constantly saying to us, your beloved children. I want my heart to be so full of your grace it will be difficult not to speak with grace-seasoned words today.
Father, thank you that it was with everlasting love and tenderness you drew us to yourself. Thank you that it was your kindness that led us to repentance. Thank you for giving Jesus on our behalf, and for hiding our lives in him. We are now forgiven and righteous, desired and enjoyed, known and secure. Praise your holy and generous name.
Nothing we can do can separate us from your love, cause you to regret saving us, or put you in a bad mood towards us. Your love is the most dependable and unwavering thing in our lives. Nothing can alter your gospelicious plan for our lives, or for the entire cosmos. From the overflow of such amazing grace, we will purpose to speak to others today. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ great and gracious name.
Scotty Smith is founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN and he is the author of Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith. To learn more, follow him on Twitter @ScottyWardSmith