I’m not sure when I first became aware that I love writing. I do recall that my first song-writing attempt was during the Christmas break of 75/76 when I was working on a poem for my English class. I thought that, if I must write something anyway, why not try to do it to music. I have loved writing songs ever since!
Later I developed my writing in sermon preparations. When we moved to Merritt in 1989, I was able to begin writing a weekly column for our local paper. When the internet came onto the scene, writing emails, making posts, sharing thoughts with words, became almost unlimited in opportunity.
Which brings me to this week where God has taught me something very special about my writing. I was processing with God the triune nature of our salvation, and accidentally typed “writeousness” instead of “righteousness”. However, I immediately found myself traveling along a surprising path regarding what my words mean to God.
The negative side of this path was that it was lined with reminders of how people have rejected me over the years, always blaming it on something I said or did not say. The positive side of this path was God showing me how my words fit into the triunity of my salvation.
In my justification by grace through faith, the fact that, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”, applies to my words as much as anything else in my life. The way I have “become the righteousness of God” in my justification means that God receives all my words through this righteousness because of Christ. Period. There is never a time I address God with words, even the ones in my thoughts, that he even thinks of rejecting me because my words fall so short of his glory.
In my sanctification by grace through faith, the reality that I “might become the righteousness of God” is a work in progress, even while my justification has made me fully acceptable to God in the righteousness of Christ. God can treat me as fully righteous in his sight while also teaching me, reproving me, correcting me, and training me in righteous speaking and writing, always showing me how to increase and mature in expressing “no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
And, in my coming glorification by grace through faith, I am assured that when I see the Lord Jesus Christ face to face, I will become just like him. The good work God began in me will be carried on to completion. All my thoughts, words, and expressions, will be as righteous as righteous can be.
As I continued exploring with God what he was saying to me about the place of my words in relating to him, I typed “words” in the search feature on biblegateway. This verse was featured:
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
“Gracious” means, “beauty n. — the qualities that give pleasure to the senses.”
While I have so many examples of people speaking ugly words to me just before letting me know I was being disowned, it is also easy to consider times when people spoke words to me that felt just like this. They sounded so beautiful to my attachment-hungry heart that they fit this description of sweetness to the soul.
That led to me looking up this verse because of the word “gracious”:
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
God wants me to speak like this, but also shows that my heart longs for people to speak this way to me as well, particularly when they think they have found fault with me. To hear gracious words trying to forgive, reconcile, heal, and restore, would be so uplifting no matter what adjustments and improvements were required.
But then I came across this verse:
“…and make an incense blended as by the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy.”
The connection between our speech and this incense is remarkable. The incense represents the prayers of God’s people, always rising to God as the most beautiful of fragrances. In the same way as our prayers are pleasing to God, our speech to one another also ascends to him, and what he wants to hear among his people is careful consideration of how to speak to one another for the building up of the body of Christ.
Into all of this was woven the threads of beauty in this expression:
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
It simply stood out to me that Jesus IS the Word of God, and when he came into our world, he came as the Son of God who was FULL of grace and truth. His words were full of grace and truth, liberally seasoned with salt, because he IS the Word.
My conclusion is summarized by this expression from God’s word:
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Jesus came as the Word who was full of grace and truth. Our words in the church are to be the gracious words of truth in love. God is pleased by such words whether spoken to him or one another.
And, in the triunity of our salvation, my justification makes my words beautiful and pleasing to God as I speak. My sanctification is making my words increasingly beautiful and pleasing to God for real. My glorification will make my words absolutely beautiful and pleasing to God without any corruption from the world, the flesh, or the devil. And this encourages me to use my words for his glory today.
I can hardly wait to see the opportunities he gives me to join him in working all things together for good.
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)