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Liberated Words – Word Problems Are Heart Problems

Godly CommunicationWho Said It … Tim Lane and Paul Tripp

Tim Lane and Paul Tripp work together as counselors at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation in Glenside, PA. They lead church-based counseling training courses and also lecture at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Both men were previously pastors—Tim in Clemson, SC, and Paul in Scranton, PA. Books they’ve co-authored are How People Change and Relationships: A Mess Worth Making.

What He Said … Word Problems Are Heart Problems

Did you ever say, “Oops, I didn’t mean to say that!”

Would it have been more accurate to say, “I’m sorry I said what I meant”?

Proverbs tells us that “the tongue can kill or nourish life” (Proverbs 18:21). Jesus said that what a person says is an “overflow of his heart.”

You stain your relationships with thoughtless words as you gossip on the phone.  You turn the gift of words into a weapon as you criticize your wife at dinner or publicly mock a friend.  If the thought, attitude, desire, emotion, or purpose hadn’t been in your heart, it wouldn’t have come out of your mouth.

Sometimes we all put our feet in our mouths.  But our problem with words isn’t primarily a matter of vocabulary, skill, or timing.

Christ asks us to own the connection between our thoughts, desires, and words.  Our real communication problem—what we want to say and why we want to say it—is shaped by the heart. So if we hope to transform the way we talk with one another, the heart must change first.

Adapted from Adapted from Relationships: A Mess Worth Making (New Growth Press, 2006)

Prayer for the Week: Teach me, Lord, to stop using my words selfishly and instead shape them to help advance your kingdom.


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