Proverbs 18:21 tells us that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” By the words we speak, we have the ability to impart life or the ability to bring about death and destruction to our relationships.
One of the major reasons why we as Christians are loosing our children to the world is not because we are being over-protective (most aren’t protective enough); not because our standards are too high (are our standards higher than God’s?); but because of the negative, critical atmosphere that exists in many Christian homes.
We criticize our spouse. We criticize our children. We criticize our church leaders. We criticize other church members. A cartoon in a Christian magazine portrayed a pompous church member exclaiming, “Faults in others I can see, but praise the Lord there’s none in me.” Don’t believe that for one moment. Compared with the spotless, sinless character of Christ, there is a multitude of character deficiencies that you and I possess.
It’s not that we are essentially good and that there are just a few bad things in our lives keeping us out of heaven. It’s that – as the Bible teaches – In us “dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18). There is an infinite gap – not just between God’s goodness and our badness – but between God’s goodness and our “goodness.” Isaiah 64:6 tells us that “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.”
In the first five chapters of the book of Isaiah, the prophet is busy pronouncing woes on all the people around him. Finally in chapter six, he has a vision of God in all of His holiness and majesty and he says, “Woe is me.” Because the closer we get to God the less we see of others’ faults (especially those in our own family) and the more we see the condition of our own sinful hearts.
Let’s rid our homes of that negative, critical atmosphere; and let’s choose life by choosing to bless and praise and encourage those around us.
Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries