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Summary: The reason we think and many times say such terrible things about others is that we do not truly accept that we are accepted. We are haunted by guilt because we have never accepted and forgiven ourselves.

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Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Or so we have been told.

However, the Bible tells us that our words have the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). God also tells us that only wholesome talk should come from our mouths and that we should encourage one another daily so that we are not hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Ephesians 4:29; Heb. 3:13).

What we say reveals what is in our hearts - the heart is used in Scripture as the seat of our personality, feelings, desires, joy, pain, love and the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit – and reveals who we really are. Jesus said: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks,” (Matthew 12:34). If what we say is filled with anger, accusation, manipulation, domination, intimidation, bitterness, envy, selfish ambition, greed, lust, earthly concerns and desires, ungodly thoughts and ideas, confusion and disorder, then we are motivated by Satan. If what we say is filled with mercy, love and consideration for others, peace, submission, sincerity and impartiality, and righteousness, then our hearts are filled with God’s Holy Spirit and wisdom.

I am convinced that we say what we say because of what we believe. If we truly believed that God accepts us, just the way we are, just the way we are right now, that we are made in His image, that we are His sons and daughters, His beloved children in whom He is well pleased, then our speech and our lives would more reflect the kingdom of God – righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17).

The reason we think and many times say such terrible things about others is that we do not truly accept that we are accepted. We are haunted by guilt because we have never accepted and forgiven ourselves. And if we haven’t forgiven ourselves we have never really accepted God’s forgiveness. But the moment I understand that God, Who sees me exactly the way I am, and Who says of me, "I am satisfied with you in the blood of Christ. You are accepted by me," then I have no right to say anything less about myself or anyone else. And that means that I can also accept you. I can accept the fact that you, like me, are not perfect, we are under construction and that you need forgiveness and encouragement and unconditional love, and it becomes my privilege, my honor to extend grace to you, by saying, "That’s okay, I’m not going to hold it against you. I’m glad to forgive you because I have been forgiven so much more than anything you could ever say or do against me."

If we could truly get hold of, really understand, that we are accepted, adopted, blameless, chosen, forgiven, predestined, and sealed by God’s Holy Spirit on the basis of Christ’s atoning work, we would be so busy praising God all the day long that we would find no opportunity for petty differences. God was satisfied by Christ for sin - Jesus died because I deserved to die. Jesus took my place and died for me. Scripture says that He actually became us: "He who knew no sin, was made sin for us," (2 Corinthians 5:21) - something far more than simply becoming a substitute – He took my sins upon Himself and God put Him to death, because that is what I deserve.


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