Speaking with Love

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Speaking with Love ~ Christian Love. Episode 198

Speaking with love, Christian love is difficult at the best of times and during the best of conditions. How can you speak to others with the love, easy if you do not have the love of Christ in your heart?

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Speaking with love is a gift. It isn’t always easy to speak kindly especially when we are annoyed. I fight with myself over what I want to say and what I actually say. Why? Because our human nature, if it is not grounded in Christ is one that is concerned with self. We want to be right, we want things to be fair (especially as they apply to ourselves) and we believe that we have a right to speak our mind.

Why do we speak out in a way that is not pleasing to the Lord? Mainly because we are upset or feel justified. Usually, anger gets in the way of clear thought or speaking kindly. Another reason can be fear. Fear is a gripping sensation that may make you feel out of control and when this happens our speech may reflect this fear and insecurity by taking it out on others. This is never acceptable or okay but we can change, and it first takes wanting to change to make it happen.

Recently I read a post on social media that a friend of mine who has written quite a few books commented on another book that was recently released and had a movie as well. She talked about the hateful comments, from fellow Christians, that she received when she gave the book and movie a review. I know nothing about the book or the movie but what I do know is that people are entitled to their opinions and as Christians we are held to a high bar. There is never a reason to be personal in our speech in a hateful way. There is just no excuse.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 talks about love. This is the love that speaks of God’s grace, God’s promise, God’s example.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

That my friends is what Christian love talks about and how we are to speak.

  1. Speak with patience.
  2. Speak with kindness.
  3. Speak without envy.
  4. Speak without boasting.
  5. Speak without being proud.
  6. Speak while not dishonoring others.
  7. Speak in a way that is not self-seeking.
  8. Speak in a way that is not angry.
  9. Speak in a way that doesn’t point fingers or accuse.

But there is more. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. The truth, we are told will set you free. John 8:31-32

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Our words should be ones that protect others, trust in truth and encourage with hope and continue on through the tough times. When we speak with love and kindness we are following the example of Christ. In the Bible, we read that Jesus often said, “Go and sin no more,” but He was not disparaging of the sinner, he didn’t call them out or use crude terminology. He didn’t point fingers and tear the people down. No, he lifted, encouraged, and taught using parables and stories so that the people could relate and understand.

Ephesians 4:25-32 – gives us an example of righteous anger but it also gives us a reason to be careful with how we speak. We are to put off falsehood and speak truthfully but we are admonished in anger not to sin. (Read).

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Is there a time when you were angry and then regretted what you said? We’ve all done this but in the verses, I just read it tells us to get rid of bitterness, rage, and anger and to have compassion. When we are in prayer we can sense the goodness of the Lord and feel his love, forgiveness, and compassion. Yet when we are in trying or difficult situations we may find we are at a loss and may fail to speak with love. Speaking with love takes practice and it takes faith. But there is hope because the power of God, the power of Jesus in our lives is real. How is this real? By the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and many of the fruits of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. (Podcast here on Fruits of the Spirit.)

How do we get more of that spirit of God? By prayer and by asking for it. We can ask the Lord to help us to see the ways that our words hurt others, and repent. Repenting from sin should be something we do at the end of each and every day (or more often if you can). Jesus said we should forgive others seventy times seven. He did not say we should hold a grudge for the rest of our lives. God gave us the gift of life and the miracle of our lives is the ability to touch others in a way that is uplifting and helpful.

This week look at the words you use, with your family first and then with your friends. Are you speaking in a way that builds people up or does it tear people down? Can you speak kindly? Can you speak the truth but in a way that people will actually listen? When those who profess to be Christian can’t even speak with Christian love then what hope do we have for humanity? Christians have a common and unifying Father. We believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We are not orphans but we are children of the Almighty and we should reflect the love of God in our lives and the way we live our lives. John 14:15-20

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[a] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

Our actions and our words should both reflect this love. We love in a way that reflects the joy in our hearts and if we are lacking this joy, we need to get it back. How can we do this? We need to focus on reading the Bible, taking time each day to pray, and focusing our thoughts, especially (if we can) first thing in the morning and last thing at night in giving God the praise He is due. Without praise and gratefulness, there is no joy. Without joy there is no hope. Without hope there is despondency and that is when the enemy creeps in and takes hold.

Love by its very nature is sacrificial and speaking in love means speaking with sacrifice to self. Our speech is a reflection of what is in our heart, and if our heart is lacking it will be obvious to those who listen to us speak. If you have difficulty in this area pray to the Lord and ask for help, ask Him to give you the words you should use. I often do this when I pray for other people. I have no idea what they really need in prayer, but God does! God can give us those gifts of the spirit and guide our speech so that we are a reflection of God’s love and an example of Christian charity!

This week your challenge is speaking in love to others and using your words or uplift and encourage. May God be blessed!

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