Word of Christ Dwelling in Us: Words Matter
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col. 3:12–17 NKJV)
The Word of Christ Dwelling in our Mouths
There is an awful sickness in the body of Christ. This disease is perpetuated by the tongue which is driven by the heart. There is a lack of the Word of Christ dwelling richly in us and through us. What I speak of is the vitriol spoken between fellow Christians. All it takes is a quick look in media, on the internet, and social media to find what I’m talking about.
Tens, hundreds, thousands of Christians responding to other people’s experiences, theology, or doctrine, even personal thoughts with an attack. Because of disagreement we have perhaps millions of people around the globe spewing hatred and speaking evil against one another in the so-called name of “Christianity” and “defending truth”.
Our history clearly shows us that disagreement has created many denominations. Even the beginning church in the book of acts had their disagreements over the old ways vs. the new. However, the advent of technology has given people a unique power to use their words in ways never before possible. These words used have the potential to reach a few hundred or a few billion depending on a person’s sphere of influence.
I don’t know if because now many people who normally wouldn’t have a platform now indeed do. That the internet has given a mostly free environment to be seen and heard in a world where, without it, they would most likely not. Twitter is a powerful example of this. This coupled with the ability to not have to face other people in person has brought about a nasty side in the name of “defending the faith”.
This new venture into the digital world has somehow given people license to think they are an authority on multiple subjects in which they have no real experience. This phenomenon has empowered a lot of people to use their voices to tear down other Christians. Over beliefs, experiences, and the like manifesting as disagreement.
The Heart of the Issue
What makes it ok for someone to declare they know and live by the scriptures, and then so profoundly speak against a brother or sister in Christ? The fact they perceive and interpret something in scripture different from others leaves little excuse to attack them.
I’ve seen people demeaned, belittled, lies spoken of, accused of being filled with demons, being deceived by Satan, all because they believe God heals people today. That’s just one example. This happens often over the topic of the Holy Spirit as well, among many others.
There are believers all over the place declaring absolutes about scripture and justifying their position to tear down other people. The heart is the issue. As Jesus said,
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Matt. 15:18–19 NKJV)
If we’re using our mouths to curse our brothers and sisters, it’s coming out of the overflow of our hearts. We have the power of blessing or cursing with the tongue. We either choose to speak life or speak death to one another. To ask Holy Spirit to cultivate with us the Word of Christ richly in our hearts.
Light vs. Darkness
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:22–23 NKJV).
It is frightening to me how many people think they are in service to God in the light by condemning other Christians. We are one body and Jesus is the head. How great is that darkness in them that masquerades as light?
John goes on to say,
“He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:9–11 NKJV).
We have to guard our hearts when a disagreement comes about. If we fall into the trap of hating one another over a dispute on scripture… Then we are only hurting ourselves for we are all joined as one, in one body. Love is not based on what we agree upon. The deception is that love only works when we agree.
Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord and is surely justified by Him is of our body. Would you curse your body and speak evil of it? There has to be a greater revelation that relationship is not founded on what we collectively agree or disagree about. The foundation of our relationships with one another is the finished work of Christ Jesus our Lord.
We Are Called Peacemakers
We collectively are called to be peacemakers. As Jesus proclaimed, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.” (Matt. 5:9 NKJV). The word peacemaker is eirēnopoios in the Greek and is a compound word using eirēnē which means peace. It can be defined as, “a peace-maker, one who cultivates peace and concord”.
Let us all aim for the higher calling to be peacemakers with our brethren in Christ Jesus our Lord. Being admonished in scripture to,
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14 NKJV).
Encouraging one another and singing songs and spiritual hymns to the body of Christ. Edifying one another in love not based upon religion or full agreement. But by keeping our focus on the prize, that of Jesus. Let’s come into the place of our heart where he consumes us with fire and he is our only delight.
Sharing in the great joy and abundant life he gives to each, bearing each other’s burdens. Let’s honor and uplift our brothers and sister in Christ. Learning how to work through our disagreements without doing evil to one another.
Truly being a people that does not defile ourselves with what comes out of our hearts. May it be a way of life we meditate on often. Being part of the solution and not the problem. There is enough evil speech in the world without Christians having to participate as well. Pray and seek God and sow deeply the Word of Christ deeply in us.
Otherwise, how will the world know we are of the Truth?
For Jesus said,
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NKJV).
Keefer is thoughtful and reserved, withdrawn and observant. Upon those strengths he carry’s a measure of authority, and has a voice. He feels passionately about America and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. His goals are to align his life for long term missionary work abroad in some of the darkest and dangerous places. He owes his life to Jesus and his hope rest only in Christ.