The Bible teaches us that we were created in the image of God, to reflect Him. Ephesians 5:1-2 states, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” As we reflect on the moments of grace that God orchestrates in our lives each day, we realize that if God is a gracious God, we are to be gracious as well.
One way the Bible encourages us to be gracious is in our speech toward others. James 3:1-12 strongly warns us of the possible dangers of our tongues. This passage tells us, “the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.” (v. 6) “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God.” (v. 8-9) God is serious about our words, and He wants us to steward them well. Colossians 4:6 states, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” If God is a God of grace, then surely we – His image-bearers – should be very cautious with our words to make sure we are reflecting our Savior.
Words can exit our mouths so quickly, but thankfully God never calls us to do something without supplying what we need to accomplish it. By His grace, He places us in situations in which we will learn – sometimes by mistake – how to live as true reflections of Him. A great example of this act of grace comes from one of our interns, Christy. Listen in as Christy reflects on an instance of grace here at Vision of Hope, when God graciously used others to teach her about the power of the tongue:
“On my very first day shadowing as a new intern, I made a comment that, to most, would have been harmless, or even funny, but to one particular resident, it was not helpful. In fact, it actually caused that resident to really struggle with her thoughts. But instead of getting upset, she went to the Lord, and dealt with it in her mind by speaking Truth to herself. After this, she humbly came to me, and let me know how what I had said was not helpful to her, and she wanted me to know so that I could grow in my communication and love the other residents well. This small interaction has been engrained in my memory as a display of God’s grace in showing me how very powerful my words can be. The words I speak can either give life, or bring death (Proverbs 18:21), therefore, I must guard my tongue and choose my words so very carefully, because I do not always know how they will affect others. So in this tiny exchange, God showed me the grace to learn truly loving communication.”
How awesome for God to give us moments such as these in which we can learn to become more like Him and draw closer to Him! Why not spend some time in prayer today, praising God for His work in your life, and asking for His help as you strive to reflect His grace to others!