What Guides our Speech?

Does anyone else remember the time when everyone wore bracelets with WWJD written on them? For those of you who don’t, WWJD stands for What Would Jesus Do. It was supposed to be a constant reminder to ask yourself in any given situation, “What would Jesus do here?” Everyone who attended a youth conference at the time sported the bracelet.

The memory came to me as I was reflecting on the words of Jesus in John 5:

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so you may marvel.
John 5:19-20

These words keep coming back to me as I scroll through my social media feed. I think, would Jesus post these words or share this link? Is this something the Father is about? I know these are words about Jesus who is both fully God and fully man. He has an awareness of the plans of God we will not on this side of heaven be able to fully grasp. But that being said, is our life’s goal to only do what we see the Father doing?

You might say this is an impossible goal, and we would be idle all the time if this were the case. This is a possible response when facing the question of holiness and obedience to God. It is not what the result should be but some people treat the words with fear rather than freedom.

Scripture is chock-full of instruction on how to live and what business God is about. There are numerous words given on how to act in the workplace, treat the people around you, and pursue success. I think the place we must start is in the word. We must be looking for understanding of how Jesus would attack the situations we are facing. What advice would he give to a friend or co-worker?

We are told to stay away from certain things because they do not agree with the character and promises of God. This doesn’t mean we should try to defend our position with scripture, but be transformed by the word, allowing it to change the advice we would give. How could we ever say we are about the Father’s business when we ignore the instructions he has already given us?

Words like those found in the Sermon on the Mount, or any of Jesus’ teachings, when applied will transform much of the advice we give and actions we take.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

These words in Ephesians, if made a grid for every social media post, would pretty quickly clean up our feeds (both in quantity and quality). A sign of maturity is our every word and action being inspired and guided by God. Worldly platitudes no longer come from the lips, and slander has no place in the heart. Only a word that is acceptable before God, one that would pass the lips of Jesus, flows from ours.

There will be a point in time when we are so free from the hold this world has on us that out of our hearts will pour only what the Father is about. That is what we are aiming for! Until that day we must take care to root out that which pulls us away. We must search to know God completely, taking care with our word and actions to represent Christ.

For me, the process of surrendering actions helps. Before making a decision, writing a text or email, making a phone call, I attempt to take the moment it requires to say, “God I surrender this to you. Would you lead me into what is good and relevant and cleanse my heart and thoughts from that which is not of you.” We still need to know God and his ways in this process. As he exposes falsehoods, we need to know them as such. We must be able to recognize truth from lie even in our desire to only be about his business.

Let us always look to the example of Jesus. Just as he, being fully God and man did only as the Father did, let us imitate Christ in our actions. Let our goal be to imitate Christ with consistency, acting and speaking in accordance with his way and plans according to the need of the moment.

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