July 01, 2009

Speak the Truth in Love - Janet Sketchley

We usually take Scriptural statements about the power of the tongue as a warning—and so we should, considering the damage we can do. Yet we’re to “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Eph. 5:19a, NIV). Jesus used Scripture to counter Satan’s attempts to twist it in the desert. “The sword of the Spirit...is the Word of God.” (Eph. 6:17, NIV)

We have a wealth of Scripture at our disposal to speak into others’ lives—and into our own. “The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb 4:12, NIV)

I don’t know if it’s any more powerful spoken aloud, or if our minds just believe it easier that way. I do know that reciting passages from the Psalms, declaring them resolutely in the face of despair, has strengthened me when I was overwhelmed.

When anxiety was gaining ground, I needed to be lovingly reminded that: “Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” (James 1:2b-4 NLT) I knew the truth, but I needed to hear it to anchor myself in its power.

Often we don’t speak Scripture to one another because we don’t want to come across as pious, trite or hypocritical. Certainly we need to speak from a place of humility and empathy, as the Holy Spirit nudges us. There are times to be silent and cry with a hurting believer. But there are times for a well-placed word of encouragement, and what better word than from the Word?

Scripture is not a tool that we use as we see fit. (This separates Christians from those who simply decide what they want and then try to speak it into being.) But if we spend time daily with the Lord in worship and prayer, reading and absorbing His Word, we will find sections that stand out to us—words to speak to Him in prayer, to ourselves for strength, or to others in love for their encouragement and edification.

© Janet Sketchley, 2009
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.


  1. Beautifully said. Thanks Joanna! It's amazing to me as I read each day what scripture sparks a special note in me, like I was meant to read it at that particular time to help me through something. Why it amazes me is that I tend to read a chapter a day in order, so it's totally a God-incident that the right words are aligned with that specific day's reading. There is definitely great power in daily Bible reading and time in devotion in prayer.

    Thanks again for this post!

  2. Joanna:
    Thanks for this word of encouragement. There is no more powerful force in the universe than God's Word spoken in faith from a believer's mouth.
    Blessings on you as you speak His truth in love,

  3. Thanks Joanna. You are so right. I wish we all felt more free to speak God's word into each other's lives. It is so powerful and liberating.

  4. Yes, there is freedom in the Word of God. It never ceases to amaze me how I can read scripture one day and be moved and impressed but another time,I can read the same scripture and the power for the circumstance exudes one hundred fold and the meaning and application is so incredible for that moment! Thanks for the great reminder, Janet. :)


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