It’s been several years since my own mom passed into Jesus’ physical presence in glory. Shortly afterward, my brother had a dream where the Lord told him, “She likes the accommodations up here.” Yep. That’s totally something my mom would say.
Mothers have a special place in the heart of God.
Mothers actually partner with God in bringing forth life. It’s amazing, and as I guy, I totally can’t understand it, and I don’t pretend to. But I am in awe of it.
It is God’s heart to bring life. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b) Bringing life was Jesus’ mission.
Although only women can actually birth another physical life out of their own bodies, we can all birth life. We have the opportunity every day, in every situation. We birth life with our words. Or not.
Partnering with God
Proverbs 18:21a says, “The tongue has the power of life and death,” and we choose between the two with every word we speak. We have the power, and as Christians the authority, to speak life or death into every situation we face, every minute of every day.
We partner with God when we choose to speak life; we partner with other spiritual forces when we choose to speak death.
So let’s put some skin out it. How do we speak life? Here are 5 practical ways to speak life into our everyday situations.
1) Remember a Kingdom perspective.
If we love Jesus, then it’s always about what he’s doing in the situation and not our agenda. It’s good to win the argument, and it’s better to actually be right, but it’s best to accomplish God’s purpose in the situation. That often means laying down our right to win the argument.
Counter-intuitive to most Americans, the Kingdom of God is not about claiming our just rights, it’s about sacrificing them and laying them down. It’s about letting go of our right to be right. And in giving up our rights and instead focusing on what God’s doing, we often win something much more valuable than the argument. We win the other person’s heart.
Can we serve a person who’s wrong today? Can we ask God how we can honor the person we like the least today?
2) Focus on healing not punishment.
A good friend recently posted on FaceBook, “To rescue people from the natural consequences of their behavior is to render them powerless.” While this is probably true, I commented that, “To rescue and to bring healing are two different things.”
It seems to me liberals are always wanting to ride in on the white horse and rescue everybody. Their mantra seems to be, “The Government as Salvation.” Conservatives, on the other hand, want people to fry for their actions, emphasizing “personal responsibility.” As Christians, though, IMHO, we shouldn’t target either rescue or justice. We should target healing. We should be bringing life.
Liberals address people’s situation, while conservatives address their behavior. As Christian’s we should be addressing their heart. We should be bringing life to their wounded places.
So in a godly confrontation, the right question is not, “How can I help them?” nor “How can I avoid further conflict?” nor “What do they deserve?” nor “What threat of punishment will be scary enough to control their behavior?” The right question is, “What is the real problem here? What is the wound?”
3) Ask for God’s help.
This seems like a no-brainer, but how many of us, every day before exiting our car and going into work, actually ask for God’s help us bring life to our co-workers today with our words?
Honestly, this is one of the most practical things we can do. It starts our day focusing on God’s perspective, on what he wants to do. And in that frame of mind, we just might interpret (and hence respond to) the events of the day differently.
4) Sometimes the right word is hard.
Life-giving words can be unwelcome to people stuck in destructive behaviors and lifestyles. For example, homosexuals, transsexuals, and heterosexuals sleeping together outside of marriage typically aren’t in a rush to hear the life-giving message of sexual integrity. But often a lack of sexual integrity’s not the issue, it’s just the bad fruit. The real root of the matter is wounding down there somewhere deeper. And that’s what life-giving words from God go after.
So often in the church, we go for the low-hanging fruit. We’ve been taught to address the bad fruit in people’s lives. People’s bad behavior is an easy target. If we can get them to clean up their act, their bad behavior no longer makes us uncomfortable, and we feel good about ourselves. But they’re still hurting inside, and that unaddressed bad root will just pop up somewhere else.
5) Intercession brings strategy.
We’re all busy, but when we set aside time to pray, really pray for specific people, when we sacrifice our schedule for God’s heart, he gives it. When we have God’s heart for the situation, and more importantly for the person, we have life-giving words to bring. We have words that pierce hearts, jump over defenses, and bring godly sorrow unto repentance.
We all have a choice, with every word we speak. Will it bring life, or will it bring death? I pray this post has brought life.
A mother partners with God and births new life from her own body. Can we all partner with God and birth life with our words?