Does what we say really affect our life?

Listen to a message from my pastors on this very subject titled Sticks and Stones Part 1 (4/19/09)Sticks and Stones Part 2 (4/26/09)

Does what we say really affect our life?

Another “new truth” that I have been hearing is that what you speak affects your life in a prophetic sort of way. We should speak things that aren’t as if they were. Or people will say something and then say they rebuke that because they don’t want it in their life. Some people won’t even discuss an ailment in their body because they say if they do, they will be claiming it. Others just don’t want to hear anything negative, which I have also discovered that ‘negative’ is defined differently by each person. It could be something such as saying, “It’s supposed to rain on Sunday, I hope the church picnic doesn’t get rained out.” And their reply would be, “I rebuke that, it is going to be beautiful on Sunday!”

I think this is going to be a difficult one and I may not be able to come up with a clarifying truth that applies to every situation. But, let’s take a look and see what turns up. I started by looking up the words “speak, talk, words, mind, think, and prophesy” in the Bible. Just as I thought, this isn’t going to be an easy one.

Throughout the Bible, God speaks about truth. In Zecharia, 8:16  “These are the things that ye do: Speak ye truth each with his neighbour, Truth and peaceful judgment judge in your gates.” Eph 4:25  Wherefore, putting away the lying, speak truth each with his neighbour, because we are members one of another;

So we come back to what is truth? Truth exists regardless of view point or relative opinion; Truth is reality based on actual facts proven by the presentation of evidence. So if truth is reality based, then can we speak about negative things if they truly exist? If we are failing classes, do we ignore that truth and choose to only speak of getting better grades? If we are having health problems, do we only speak of healing and ignore the problems that we have? I can say that a forecast of weather is just that, a forecast, so it isn’t actually a truth. But, if there is a forecast of rain, do we ignore that forecast and make no alternate plans, speaking and believing for beautiful weather?

Mat 12:33-37  `Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad, for from the fruit is the tree known. `Brood of vipers! how are ye able to speak good things–being evil? for out of the abundance of the heart doth the mouth speak. The good man out of the good treasure of the heart doth put forth the good things, and the evil man out of the evil treasure doth put forth evil things. `And I say to you, that every idle word that men may speak, they shall give for it a reckoning in a day of judgment; for from thy words thou shalt be declared righteous, and from thy words thou shalt be declared unrighteous.’

This is a very powerful statement made by Jesus. He tells us that bad fruit doesn’t come from good trees, so if we are producing bad fruit, we can’t be a good tree. Hmmmm. So we can speak out anything we want, the bottom line is what is in our hearts. What the reality is. So even if we only speak positive, and yet in our hearts, and probably minds, there are negative feelings and thoughts, the positive speak isn’t accomplishing anything. This leads me to believe that you can’t say something and then speak out a rebuke against your own words, the only true way to rebuke it is to change what you feel and think, then what you say will change. But can you rebuke something someone else says? I guess you can because in this very scripture, Jesus is in essence rebuking what the Pharisees were saying.

Another heavy truth in this passage is that we will give account for every idle word spoken! Our words will declare us righteous or unrighteous. So if we are always speaking negative, ho-hum, doomsday things, what does that declare us? Wait, I almost missed it. We won’t really be declared righteous or unrighteous by our words, ultimately, it is by our heart. The Pharisees appeared to be speaking so called good things and yet their hearts were not good. So they wouldn’t actually be judged on words but the heart. But I think we have a chance to recognize what is in our hearts and change it before it spills out of our mouths. So we don’t really need to change what we speak, we need to change our hearts. We will be forgiven for these evil things we speak IF we are right with Christ. Mark 3:28-29  `Verily I say to you, that all the sins shall be forgiven to the sons of men, and evil speakings with which they might speak evil, but whoever may speak evil in regard to the Holy Spirit hath not forgiveness–to the age, but is in danger of age-during judgment;’ But honestly, I’d rather not have to be forgiven for them, I’d rather work on changing my heart and producing good fruit.

In Tit 1:12-14,  “A certain one of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans [are] always liars, evil beasts, [and] lazy bellies [fig., gluttons]!” [i.e. a quote from Epimendes, c. 600 B.C.]  This testimony is true; for which cause rebuke them sharply, so that they shall be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of people, turning themselves away from the truth.” The person saying that the Cretans were liars, etc isn’t the one to be rebuked, the Cretans were to be rebuked. Paul says that this testimony was true, so he didn’t have a problem with it being said, even in such a negative way.

Eph 4:29-32  (ALT)  Stop letting any rotten [fig., harmful] word come out of your* mouth, _but_ if anything [fig., what] [is] useful for building up [fig., edifying] of the need [fig., as needed], so that it shall give grace to the ones hearing. … Let all bitterness and rage and anger and clamor [or, angry shouts of dissatisfaction] and slander be removed from you*, [along] with all malice.

(YLT) “Let no corrupt word out of your mouth go forth, but what is good unto the needful building up, that it may give grace to the hearers; and make not sorrowful the Holy Spirit of God, in which ye were sealed to a day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice, and become one to another kind, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, according as also God in Christ did forgive you.”

What is “corrupt word”? The original Greek word is: sapros (sap-ros’) Strong’s states that it is rotten, that is, worthless (literally or morally): – bad, corrupt. The website gives the definition as: rotten, putrefied; corrupted by one and no longer fit for use, worn out; of poor quality, bad, unfit for use, worthless. It is the same word that is translated as “bad” in Matthew 12:33 above.

Most translations use the word “edifying.” What does that mean? The Greek word is oikodomē (oy-kod-om-ay’) shows the meaning as: (the act of) building, building up; metaph. edifying, edification: the act of one who promotes another’s growth in Christian wisdom, piety, happiness, holiness; a building (i.e. the thing built, edifice)

So based on this scripture, when we speak, we need to decide first, is it the truth or a lie? If it is truth, we would then need to decide is it something that is rotten, not fit for use, worthless or something that will help build up, promote growth in Christian wisdom? Paul says that Scripture can be used for that in Ti 3:16-17,  “Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.  That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.”

1Th 2:3-4  For our exhortation [was] not by deception, nor from an impure [motive], nor in treachery [or, deceit]. _But_ just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing people, _but_ God, the One examining our hearts [fig., inner selves].

To get the real feel for this scripture, it would be best to read through Chapter 2, but I’m just pulling these two verses out for now. In reading this, I feel I have found the next question we would ask ourselves before speaking, “Is it from a impure or pure motive? Would it be pleasing to people or God?” The true test of whether it is pure in motive and pleasing to God would by the feeling that the Holy Spirit inside of you give you. However, if you still find yourself unsure, test it against scripture.

One Bible verse I have heard repeated over and over in regards to this “new truth” is:

Mar 11:23-24  “For positively, I say to you*, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and be cast into the sea’ and does not doubt in his heart, _but_ believes [or, has faith] that what he says is going to happen, it will be [granted] to him whatever he says. For this reason I say to you*, all [things], as many as while praying you* shall be asking [for], be believing [or, be having faith] that you* are receiving, and it will be [granted] to you*.

I believe what Jesus says here, but I’m not sure I could apply it to what I am trying to prove as true. For example, I have heard, if your marriage is suffering, start speaking life into your marriage. Speak as if it were so. So if you have trouble communicating, you wouldn’t speak about that, you would say, “We are good communicators and our marriage is growing.” Name it and claim it. This could be something just said, or something you would speak in a prayer. Another one is finances, if you are lacking in finances you speak that you are wealthy. I’m not sure I could apply this scripture to those circumstances. He doesn’t say to speak as thought the mountain were not there, he says tell it to move! So, shouldn’t we say or pray, “Remove this lack of communication from my marriage, show me and my spouse how to be a better communicators.” Or, “Lord, send me the job that you want me to have.” Or, “Increase my finances so that I can bless others.”

I also think it is important to keep in mind this scripture when using the scripture in Mark:

1Jn 5:14-15  And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we are asking anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have requested from Him.

It is important that what you are speaking is in God’s will. The Bible tells me in several places that God has great plans for me, so why wouldn’t a good marriage and finances be in his will?

I just feel that this is taken to the max. And that some are very touchy about this negative – positive speech. What would be said to Jesus when he said in Mat 26:38,  “Then Jesus says to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; stay here and keep watching with Me.”?” Should he have said, My soul will rejoice in the plans my father has for me? Or what about when Jesus tells the diciples in Luk 17:10,  “In the same way _you*_ also, whenever you* do all the [things] having been instructed to you*, say, ‘We are worthless slaves, because we have [only] done what we are obligated to do.'” I realize the context here, but my reason for pointing it out is that Jesus told them to say they were worthless slaves. How much more negative comment could you make to yourself. If they worked diligently for Jesus, consider how many times they would have remembered this statement. Shouldn’t they have eventually spoken themselves into being worthless slaves? Even though it was negative, it was a reminder of who they really were, it was truth.

The other verse used to support this truth is Rom 4:17, “(just as it has been written, “I have appointed you [as] a father of many nations”) in the presence of God, whom he believed, the One giving life to the dead [ones] and calling the [things] not existing as existing.”

The thing I find interesting about the use of this scripture is that Abraham did not call this into existing. God did. Abraham just believed what God said. How do we go from God calling things not existing as existing into us doing it? I looked for another scripture, honestly, I thought there was one, but I couldn’t find it. So if you know what it is, let me know, I’ll gladly add it here and take a look at it in context with everything.

I can’t really explain what new truth I have experienced over the last few years. Like I said, I wasn’t sure I would be able to come to one solid conclusion that would apply to all circumstances while exploring this truth and placing it up against scripture.

I do believe that Scripture is powerful. Jesus used it to resist Satan’s temptations. That is why it is important to meditate on scriptures. If we meditate on scriptures such as  Php 4:13  “I am capable of [doing] all [things] through Christ, the [One] strengthening me.” It can help to change our heart. It will help us believe what God can do for us so that when we do face adversity, we can stand on what we know in our heart is the power of God. So instead of saying, “My marriage sucks!” We can say, “Even though my marriage is not good right now and that we are lacking communication skills, I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and that we can work together to have a better marriage and better communication skills.” Or, “I am facing the fact that I may have cancer, but no matter what the results, I know that God will strengthen me.” Or we can pray God’s promises back to him, “God, the communication in our marriage is horrible but Your word tells me that you strengthen me and that you can heal this marriage.”

So as for ringing out the false and ringing in the new? Does what we speak make a difference in our life? Based on the scriptures that I studied, I would have to conclude that our words do matter, but I think it is our heart that matters most. I believe that if we are right with God and following his guiding through the Spirit, we will speak and believe the right things. When we don’t the Spirit will let us know. The Spirit would never lead us to tell ourselves such things like we are no good, or incapable of being better, or that we can never by loved by anyone. All those would go against so many scriptures.

I think that one of the main issues that remains is what is negative? It just like temperature, cold isn’t the same to everyone. Negative isn’t the same to everyone. So maybe that will be another truth to seek. Wonder what God in the Bible says is negative? With that in mind, I would also say that just because something is negative doesn’t mean that it can not be said, because Jesus said some negative things.

I also think that if you are on the receiving end of a truth, which can tend to feel negative, but that truth aligns with scripture or is a truth that could strengthen your walk and relationship with God, it is what you do with that truth in order to make a change in your heart that affects your life, not the actual words that were spoken. If it doesn’t line up with scripture, you can forget it, because it has no power because it isn’t in God’s will and if he doesn’t back it, it is meaningless! Jer 26:13  (ESV) “Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you.” If God would repent (relent/ease/reconsider) what HE has spoken, he would most assuredly do the same with any words spoken by man.

Truth to ring in: Over all, what we say can affect our lives because the words that come from our mouths really are a reflection of our heart. We do need to be careful of the words we speak because our words prove us righteous or unrighteous. We should only speak the truth. You can train yourself to only speak positive things, but if you are speaking something you don’t believe, it is a lie, because it is not what is in your heart.

I believe that we are to use scripture to admonish brother’s and sister’s in Christ, but that we must first consider a few things: Is it the truth or a falsehood? Is it something that is rotten, not fit for use, worthless or something that will help build up, promote growth in Christian wisdom or knowledge? Is it from an impure or pure motive? Would it be pleasing to people or God?” And is it our will or God’s will?

Ring out the old, Ring in the new
Ring out the false, Ring in the true
Ring out sorrow, pain and care
Ring in happiness everywhere.


3 thoughts on “Does what we say really affect our life?

  1. I read something back a little while ago that makes me think of what you are saying about what we say and think.

    What should not be heard by little ears , should not be said by big mouths!

    When you do not like something! Chance it! If you cannot change it Change the way you think about it Don’t COMPLAIN!

    The Happiness of your life depends on the attitude of your thoughts!

  2. Well, speaking the truth in love guided by the Holy Spirit, first taking the plank out of your own eye about sums it up to me. Add a little tenderness, kindness, patience, and you got a great recipe.

    Things won’t go the same if you’re dealing with what the Bible calls a “fool”.
    You really cannot admonish, or reprove a fool. The Proverbs speaks largely on that issue.

    God Bless, this is kind of fun.

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